Dear Mr./Ms. ‘1st Grade Teacher’:
I changed my daughter’s name today. My daughter, Mackenzie, will now be known as ‘M’. Has a nice ring to it, huh? Eh, not my first choice either, but it was either change her name or set the poor girl up for failure before she even starts the 1st grade.
School supplies… <sigh>
I know, I know. This is where you and your coworkers roll your eyes, bracing yourselves with the incessant tirade of complaints that are sure to follow. Don’t get me wrong, I respect you whole-heartedly and understand your plight. You’re lucky if all of your students bring in their required supply list. I sympathize with the fact that you, more times than not, are purchasing supplies out of your own pocket. I truly appreciate everything that you do for all of the children in your classroom, especially mine.
But is it necessary to demand 20 Expo dry erase markers? I have had the same two Expo markers to write chores on the refrigerator door whiteboard for over three years now. And why specify that all of her 25 required pencils be yellow? Can’t we reuse the glorious ‘Vote for What’s His Name’ pencils that were thrown out amongst the Tootsie Rolls and Dum-Dum suckers at our town’s homecoming parade? Give a mom a break, you know?
You are requiring our child to bring in four 24-count boxes of crayons. That is 96 crayons! My child loves to color, I admit, but I highly doubt she is going to go through 96 crayons in the course of a school year. Will you be teaching a lesson on breaking their crayons? And why, why are we required to label each individual crayon?! Is it so they know whose is whose? Just to set the record straight, I honestly don’t care if little Timmy uses Mackenzie’s teal crayon. Hell, she has three other ones to fall back on if her #1 teal crayon is in use. Perhaps if the kids were allowed to share in their abundance of crayons, it wouldn’t be necessary for you to purchase said crayons with your hard-earned, never-enough paycheck?
Furthermore, can’t you understand that we, as parents, have better things to do with our time than write our child’s full name on every single freaking item? I have a 40+ hour a week job, not including the commute, a side business that I am trying to build from the ground up, a blog, other children that also require time/attention/affection/school supplies, soccer practice/games, a house to maintain, and most importantly, a life. 24 pencils, 96 crayons, 10 glue sticks, 20 markers, 20 dry erase markers, in addition to the numerous onsie-twosie items on the list…. Do the math. You are requiring me to write my child’s full name on 177 individual items?!
I made it through two boxes of crayons before deciding to go the name change route. It was either that, or brace myself for an extreme case of carpal tunnel. Even so, My ‘M. Hoover’s turned into ‘M Hoo—‘s, and eventually some scribbling that would make my family doctor proud. So the point of labeling all of the items was what again?
Establishing a cohesive parent-teacher rapport is paramount to a successful school year. But you, my friend, drew first blood with this year’s supply demands.
So, I’ll see your school supply list and and raise you one slightly used Fidget Spinner. Enjoy that little gem on the first day of class.
An Already Exhausted By 1st Grade Parent