Sunday, August 30, 2009

School Supplies

My children do not start school for two full weeks after their mother but I bought their school supplies already. $80.00 for two kids. WTF!? That is incredibly expensive. I can get everything I require my students to have for $10.00. My teaching partner and I bought (with our OWN money) rulers, compasses, scissors, binders, and protractors because these are things we can lend the kids and collect at the end of the year for the next group coming in. I don't think my children's teachers ever thought of that. Ethan needs six boxes of markers, eight glue sticks, three boxes of crayons, twenty-four pencils, two binders and four notebooks plus a lot of other things I think the school should provide since my school across the border does. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? My third graders don't need four notebooks!! I have a very sneaking suspicion that I just bought school supplies not only for my child, but for two of Ethan's classmates who's parents didn't buy them any. Three boxes of crayons?? I don't think Ethan has gone through three boxes of crayons in his life, let alone in nine months- especially when kids in Moorhead are never in school!!! Spending $80.00 on school supplies is a huge kick in the a$$, but we also have to pay a $15.00 "activity fee". The "activity fee" pays for field trips. I paid the activity fee last year for both boys- NEITHER boy ever went on a field trip! So, I thought to myself, "self, I am not paying that 30.00 activity fee this year." Ahhh- yes I am. Why, you ask? Well, last year hardly any parents paid the activity fee, so this year, the $15.00 comes out of their lunch account. Therefore, unless I am going to send a bag lunch with both kids every day of the school year, I have to pay the damn fee. This really bugs me! Ten years ago, I wanted to order "weekly reader" for my students. Weekly reader is a weekly newspaper for kids. It teaches them about kids who are heroes in other communities, and events that are going on in our country. The cost is $3.50 per kid. The PTA would pay for $1.00 per kid, I thought I would pay $1.00 per kid, and ask parents for the remaining $1.50. I got in HUGE trouble because that is illegal. Students, under the law "Public School 158.993 (OK I made up the number) are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the United States." So, how is it I can't ask for a dollar fifty, but they can not only ask, but take out of an account that is for lunch, 15.00?? You probably think I am a freak and are saying, "pay the damn 15.00 and shut up." However, if their school supplies weren't so outrageously demanding I'd be happy to. I remember when I went to school , we needed five pencils, and eraser, two pens, a wooden ruler (which Troy Such hit me in the head with in the 11th grade when he was pretending to sword fight the air), and a box of crayons- you got the crayons with the built in sharpener if your parents were rich, and a few folders which were optional because the teachers knew we would never be able to stay organized anyway- even thought the folders were a good "Tool" to write your Spanish words on for your ITV Spanish class, especially when Senorita Olson was at one of the other schools. Anyway- that along with new tennis shoes for gym was a total of $20.00. I haven't bought shoes or backpacks yet. Ethan got a new backpack last year in February when his broke, which happened to be on the 100th day of school, so he thought day 101 was going to be the beginning of first grade. I also still need to buy Noah a "school planner"- from the school, which my school provides and a "school calculator" which actually comes with the math program (we have the same one as Moorhead). It all makes me so crabby. If it wouldn't be so tough to smuggle them across the border daily, I'd bring them to Fargo. Actually, I have tinted windows, so it wouldn't be that hard, but their friends all go to Moorhead, so I better have them stay here.
Thoughts that I think: I have been thinking all week, "I have to be back at work, so summer is over. I don't care if it's not hot out anymore." Then I stop and think of all the poor schmucks who have to work in the summer. Do they not have a summer?? Thank God I chose to be a teacher.

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