When it comes to buying school supplies, it’s teachers — not parents — who spend the most
August means one thing and one thing only if you’re a parent: back-to-school mode is in full effect. For most of us, it means that while temperatures outside are still sweltering, stores everywhere will have racks on racks of flannel and endless rows of paper, crayons, pencils, binders and the like.
Most parents receive a suggested school supplies list prior to the start of the new year. While stocking up on endless stuff can be a pain in the butt, author and blogger Susannah Lewis shared quite a rant about it on her Facebook page.
“What’s going on with these school supplies, y’all?” she asks. “I just spent $350 per child at Walmart on school supplies. I could go have dinner at the White House for less money.”
Is spending $350 really a thing? Sure, these things add up. But $700 on supplies for two children to go back to school? Even if that’s true, lets take a minute and think about what teachers actually spend on school supplies. For a classroom full of students. Out-of-pocket. Multiple times throughout the year.
“My daughter is 11 years old and she needs two four-inch binders. Have you ever seen a four-inch binder? You could stick a twin mattress in it.”
LOL. Okay, back-to-school binder shopping is a pain in the butt. Especially when you think about shoving two of those babies in an already-stuffed backpack. But it’s not a lot to ask. Each school district is different; some are able to cover a substantial amount of supplies and some are not.
One common denominator across all districts when it comes to chipping in for students’ supplies, though, is teachers. They foot the bill for countless items all year long.
Lewis’ rant quickly went viral, with many people commenting and blaming teachers for sending home such lists.
It’s kind of crazy that a lot of people out there think all public school districts are magically able to provide all necessities for all students. That’s not how taxes and school budgets work.
Teachers go above and beyond every day. When you hear stories like this–which is far more common than you may think–it’s hard not to roll your eyes about parents who complain. Especially those who are able to provide these things for their kids.
Teachers across the country chimed in to remind Lewis and other commenters exactly how much of their personal time, money, and energy goes into making sure students have a productive learning environment.
That’s another thing – not every parent can afford to buy their kids their binders, notebooks, highlighters, and calculators. Teachers often buy surplus supplies for students in need.
The bottom line: while fighting people in the aisles of Walmart and Target for your kid’s required folders and binders can be frustrating AF, complaining about it can be seen as an insult to teachers. Think about how much money they fork over year after year, semester after semester, to make sure every child has the tools they need to get through the school year.
Lewis did her part to clarify that she herself wasn’t ranting about teachers:
It would do us all a service — parents, children, and teachers included — if we remembered to send the message that school should be valued. If you’re financially able to buy your child’s supplies, just shut up and do it.