I LOVE school supplies. When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t wait for when my mom came home with our supplies for the year. I’d lay them all out on our back patio and just admire them with the biggest grin on my face. (Yes, I was very much a nerd). And the best part was putting my name on everything. We usually used a pen and wrote it directly on the crayon box, notebook or Trapper Keeper, or we’d write our name on a piece of masking tape and adhere it to the scissors or glue bottle.
But one year my mom purchased a label maker…not one of those fancy mini computer looking things. (We’re talking the 80s here). It was a handheld maker with a dial on the top that had the alphabet printed around the edge of a wheel. Special, thick, red tape was threaded through this “machine.” You had to turn the dial at the top so that the letter you wanted to print lined up with a particular mark and then you’d squeeze the handle of the label maker really hard, allowing the indent of the letter to create a white imprint on the red tape. It was time consuming, but so much FUN when you finally got to the end of your name and turned that dial to the scissors picture, did a final squeeze and a label with your name popped off the edge. Sometimes I’d even create a label with more than just my name. Sometimes I’d label “I love Kevin Mauer”…my schoolboy crush for far too many years. (He was too shy to give me the time of day…..or more likely he couldn’t see the true beauty behind my bowl haircut, buck teeth and coke bottle glasses).
When I became a teacher, purchasing my own school supplies was a necessity in some of the poorer schools I worked in, and in another school, sometimes I had the privilege of raiding the supply closet! Oh the masking tape, markers, post-its, file folders….I was in my glory!
And nothing is more exciting than Target at Back-to School time. Dollar boxes of Crayola markers, twenty cent glue, ten cent folders! Last year, even though I did not need them, I purchased a few packs of one subject notebooks, for the mere fact that they were 10 in a pack for only $1. Only 10 cents for each spiral bound…how could I resist?
So you can imagine my delight when I received an e-mail from the principal of Cameron’s new school, that had the school supply list for Kindergarten attached. It read:
Do not label these supplies, they will be shared: -2 packs of pencils, sharpened -3 boxes of standard size crayons -3 packs of markers -2 packs of dry-erase markers -1 watercolor paint set -4 bottles of glue -2 packs of glue sticks -1 pair of scissors -1 box of Kleenex -2 canisters of baby-wipes -1 bottle of hand soap -1 box of snacks to share -Ziplock baggies (A-I: sandwhich, J-R: 1 gallon, S-Z: 2 gallon)
-These items are not shared, please label: 2 notebooks, backpack, and tennis shoes for gym (no black soles).
After reading this, I had 3 thoughts racing through my mind. My first one was, My that’s A LOT of stuff! I never had to purchase more than one of anything, except notebooks and pencils! FOUR bottles of glue? Are they serious?
My second thought was, You mean I could have REQUIRED to have my own students bring in dry-erase markers? That would have saved me a lot of my own money when I worked in a school that had dry erase boards, but only a limited supply of those damn markers.
And my third and most severe thought was, What? Don’t label these supplies? They will be shared?
I really, really, really, really wanted to purchase one of those fancy label makers and share the supply labeling experience with my son. My heart was broken.
Well, the supplies filled up 2 shopping bags and his back pack. And we (well I) reluctantly turned them all in at Open House night.
Kindergarten begins for Cameron tomorrow…I better go make his lunch. Maybe I can at least label his name on each of his food items. I wouldn’t want someone else trying to claim his PB & J sandwich.