Getting Parents' Help With School Supplies
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Getting Parents' Help With School Supplies

When Back to School Supplies are an Issue

Every year when the kids come back to school it is important to be sure everyone has enough back to school supplies to get them through. Teachers know their salaries just aren't always high enough to buy pencils and other things children need for the school year and the school doesn't always provide the funding. This means teachers have to rely on parents to provide their children with adequate supplies for the classroom. Here are several ideas that might make this easier, especially when some parents just cannot afford to provide enough of everything.

Supply Lists

The best thing that you can do as a teacher is make a list of everything that your students will need throughout the year. This should include glue, crayons, markers, chalk, pencils, notebook paper, notebooks, folders, tissues, scissors, erasers and any other supplies you plan to use during the school year. You then want to make a separate list for the parents indicating which of the items you already have and which ones you need the most. If, for example, you go through more crayons and notebook paper than glue or chalk, explain this in the list. This list should be available at the front office before school starts for those parents who are prepared for school to start. You will also hand it out to children the first day of school.

After the first week of school, you will have a good idea of which supplies are adequate and which you will need to replenish. You then should create a second list, asking parents if they can help provide the items that you are low on.

Not All Parents Can Afford Supplies

One thing to remember is that not all parents can afford school supplies. Some parents have several children in school and they have to provide new school clothes and shoes for each of them. The cost of school supplies may be just too much to handle at the same time. You should understand this. When supplies come in from students it is best to put them all together in a community supply area in the classroom. This way no student will feel like an outcast because their parents couldn't afford to purchase the necessary items. In most cases, there are always at least a few parents that will go overboard with the supplies for their children and the classroom, which will help make up for those that cannot afford to buy their own supplies.

When Supplies Run Low

As a teacher you should never be afraid to ask the parents for help with providing supplies for your students. As months go by, the school supplies that the parents purchased in the autumn will start to diminish. Monitor your supplies so you aren't asking students to use things you may not have on hand. Send out a note to the parents explaining that you are running low on specific supplies and you need their help to provide more for the class. In some cases, those parents who couldn't afford to buy them at the beginning of the year are finally in a position to get what you need. It usually works out just fine.

Back to School Supplies must be at least partially provided by the parents and this can be a difficult task if you aren't sure how to encourage them to help. The best thing to do is make a list of the things that your classroom will need for each of the parents. Stress on specific items that you use the most throughout the year. Never be afraid to ask the parents because most want to help in any way that they can.

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