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Head of the Class

August 22, 2008

Ever since Little IT was in kindergarten, class assignments for the new year were given on the last day of school, on the report card.  It meant that parents clogged the parking lot to pick up their kids that day, frantically scanning bags, ripping envelopes, and either shrieking with joy or cursing the fates that put their kids in “that class” – whatever it was.  Our village holds an ice cream social that night, and it would be packed with kids and parents asking the same question over and over – “Who’d you get?”  Even the parents who claimed to be above the process would walk around with a notebook, taking down who was where in the grade. 

That all changed this year when the decision was made to send out the class assignments two weeks before the start of school.  This was OK by me – I tend to get caught up in frenzies, and it was nice not to.  Of course, that meant I didn’t know what school supplies she would need.  The lists were on the web site, but by teacher, and if you didn’t know what class you were in, you might be 2 red pens and 1 green pen instead of 1 red pen and 2 green pens.  Or worse!  And there would be penalties if we got this wrong, I’m sure. 

To prepare, I printed out all the lists from the web site, so when we did the assignment, I’d know immediately what stuff to keep and what to jettison.  The lists were very similar, but there were some differences, perhaps telling ones.  I don’t really know any of the teachers in 4th grade, save one, so this was my first impression of them.  Some class lists came with a sweet note from the teacher saying how excited she was to meet the class and happy to start the school year.  Nice, sweet.  I liked that.  One note came in a harsh font with no additional commentary.  Hmmm.  Not sure what to think there.  One note came with commentary saying you should NOT buy anything NOT on the list, and if you weren’t sure DON’T buy as there would be samples in the classroom.  Oh, and also do NOT bring anything not on the list into the classroom.  I think she used cap NOTs as well.  Hmmm.  If this was reflective of the teacher’s personality, Little IT would NOT, repeat, NOT mesh with that personality.  I wanted her to be in either harsh font-no nonsense class or one of the nice teachers, whatever that means. 

Mind you, I am certainly not implying that you can judge a teacher by a supply list.  Far from it.  It was more of an amusement than anything else, as we bided our time waiting for the assignments to arrive.  But what was amusing is when Little IT declared her favorite teachers, which happened to be the ones who wrote the nice notes.  And she never even saw the lists, she was going on reputation, which was the same thing I had picked up from the lists.  Ha!  Supply lists as an indication of personality traits.  Who knew? 

In the end, she got the one teacher in 4th grade that I do know and Little IT wanted.  She’s very nice and gives good supply list.  We’re thrilled, but whatever way you could slice it, Little IT would have done fine with any teacher.  We’re looking forward to a great year, which also happens to be her last in this year school.  Little IT isn’t so little anymore.  Sniff.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2008 9:28 pm

    We got the first year teacher. good or bad? I don’t know. She’s seems idealistic – I kinda dig that in a 1st grade teacher.

  2. August 24, 2008 8:29 am

    I think it can be good. A lot of teachers just starting out don’t know that “we don’t do it that way here.” Good luck in first grade!

  3. August 24, 2008 2:28 pm

    If I were going to post a piece on the teacher thing, mine would read exactly the same, I did not miss all the hoopla over “who’d ya get” and then all the mad moms compiling lists of classes. I think it takes away the element of surprise. Most of the supplies, I feel are not really utilized, so much waste in my opinion. I am setting up a school supply table in my home, collecting all the various supplies used over the years and making my kids shop there first.
    Waste not want not.
    Thanks for your kind concern and I will let you know if I need anything.

  4. August 24, 2008 4:38 pm

    Great point about the supplies not being used, PVE. I’d be happy if the teachers collected $20 or so per parent to buy supplies in the fall and spring. Or maybe there is something the PTA can get invovled with. Some school PTA compile the supplies and sell them to students/parents as a fundraiser. Get creative, save time and money, and do something good for the school. These are the ideas we need!

  5. KRS permalink
    August 27, 2008 2:18 pm

    Our elementary school has a great system — pre-packs. The PTA runs it (and given how the price goes up every year must make a good profit). Every spring the PTA sends out an order form for each grade, you send in the $ and presto your kids arrives on the first day of school with the pre-pack at their desk! OK, so it costs a bit more than Walmart and at the end of the year a bunch of Marble notebooks come home with about three pages used but who cares, busy mom’s don’t have to deal with it!! I have a whole shelf full of Marble Notebooks and folders and I just recycle — didn’t have to buy any new folders for my daughter going to Middle School. On another note the downside is that the mom’s collating and distributing the packs get an early view of the class lists (ours are done 2 weeks before school) and though they are sworn to secrecy don’t you know that these are the ripping the envelope types making lists so they actually start to leak out the info thinking that their kids won’t talk about it(ha, ha).

  6. August 27, 2008 9:34 pm

    KRS – I wish they did the pre-packs on our village. I think Hastings does that as well. I would certainly pay the bucks to see it happen.

    Amusing to think about the moms with the class lists. You KNOW they are taking notes and naming names. I’d bet the $$$ I spent on school supplies that was the case.

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