Thursday, October 09, 2008


I just read this article in the Washington Post about a program by Office Max that provides teaching supplies to classrooms/teachers in financial need. It highlights two area teachers who were beneficiaries of this much needed program. Kudos to Office Max for recognizing the estimated $1,200 out of pocket on average that classroom teachers spend on much needed supplies. I know as parents we balk at the school supply list each year that is usually capped off with a little check to cover periodicals or science supplies. In reality, your child's teacher is spending hundreds of dollars on his/her classroom that you will never know about!! Trust me - I was one of them!! Here is a short list of the things that your child's teacher will spend money on and will never be reimbursed for:

lesson plan supplies (ranging from ordinary - like clothespins - to bizarre - like sandpaper)
snacks - for the kids who forget
mittens and hats - for those who they finally figure out will never have any
field trip money - for kids who won't go on a trip because their parents can't afford it
lunch money - yup, they will even pay for that!
party supplies - in case something doesn't show up for the party
file folders
much, much more!

And, seriously, this is how it happens for teachers: We are out having a grand old time shopping for ourselves, when out of the corner of our eye we spot it. It's the growth chart that we don't "need" but will work perfectly in our measurement unit. It will save us hours of time that we would spend making it, freeing up those hours to pull together multiple lessons on using it, correcting the work generated from valuable lessons.... well, you catch my drift. You can ask a teacher if you can help, but most of our expenditures are last minute, not really thought out ahead of time. Target cards work, Borders, and even cash (but we'll NEVER ask for that!).

I'm happy that Office Max has chosen to run this program, if anything just for the fact that it points out the sacrifice teachers often make that goes unnoticed but benefits our kids. It's an odd profession - teaching.

1 comment:

Gracie said...

I'm not an actual teacher, but I am a spotlight leader, and I can definitely clarify that this is totally true.