Your First Job!
Congratulations on your new teaching job. You must be so excited! All of those interviews, practice lessons, and advanced degree have finally paid off. As you look around stores your heart skips a beat and you want to dance at all those back to school signs. All of a sudden your eyes are drawn to Colored Markers! Yes those big lovely colored markers that make those beautiful easels; what could be better than that? If your classroom has a chalkboard, you will be drawn to colored chalk as well. Then you start to wonder, what will the students need on the first day of school?
I always sent home a welcome letter to the parents, What would you like me to know about your child? What are your child’s strengths and weaknesses?,etc. Another letter was enclosed for the students. What is your most favorite, least favorite subject? What do you like to play at recess? What is your favorite movie, T.V. show? Along with this letter is a list of suggested school supplies.
Oh, about school supplies. Students are entitled to a FREE public education. Expecting parents to purchase school supplies is not listed as a requirement. Many school systems allow grade partners to get together and develop a list of needed supplies, and that order is given to the office. When the supplies come in, teachers sometimes place these on student’s desks, getting ready for school. Once in my back to school letter I wrote all needed supplies will be waiting for your child at their desk on the first day of school. I wanted to avoid the overabundance of supplies from parents of means, and the very basic inventory of other parents. Instead, students brought in boxes of 64 crayons, rulers, and enough stuff to fill their desks, leaving no room for books. I collected all the extra materials, not the student’s personal property.
Other teachers sent home a list of SUGGESTED supplies, which is allowed, as long as the child is not deprived of supplies. Do not ever buy your students those weird smelling expensive dry erase markers. Even after you explain students have to be gentle or else the felt tips will retract into the marker, the students will still press too hard. Also, those markers have a top that is deliberately too hard to get off and almost impossible to click on. The companies like this because it only takes a few hours for the markers to dry out. They want you to go to Costco and get a new package. Don’t do it! Remember, get a black sharpie and Post-it Notes and write supplies on each one, such as, 5 containers of Play Dough, 40 pencils, and whatever else you need. Have the class write the parents thank you notes. You can do this at parent teacher conferences, just put the easel in the hall. Enjoy your class. Some students will radiate love, while others need to be loved.