Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fourteen Boxes of Kleenex

Parents of school age kids better start shopping. School year 2014-2015 is just around the corner.

Nice way to ruin your summer! Just seeing the school supply lists in Walmart on Monday ruined mine!

From the very first moment I entered the classroom as a teacher back in 1970, parents were asking what was on my supply list. Duh! What do you usually need for an English/Language Arts class? The three P's: pen, pencil, and paper. (2014: Add one more P-- iPad)

Due to extreme pressure from our administration and fellow colleagues, I eventually added colored pencils, markers, notecards, erasers, pencil sharpeners, locker caddies, glue sticks, etc. But never tissues or paper towels!!

My last year of teaching in 2007-2008 at a rural Louisiana public school, I did not have to make a supply list. The school did it for all of the 7th grade teachers. The list was extensive, but I guess it eliminated the duplication of markers, glue sticks, etc.  

On the second day of school, several students from another homeroom came to my classroom with 14 boxes of unopened tissue of various brands. The first student stated, " This is your Kleenex supply for the year for your 7th graders." Now what does a teacher do with 14 boxes of tissue? I waited until my 11th graders came to my class the next hour, and the tall guys stacked the boxes neatly way up high on top of the coat closet. Nice view for the rest of the year, but no one cared. 

And when I retired at the end of that school year, there was not one single box of tissue left on top of the closet. 

Great addition to my list of P's --Paper products.

6 comments:

Paulette said...

I remember my shelves being stacked with boxes of Kleenex as well. When I had a cold, I would search the shelf for the tissues with lotion for my desk. Memories. . .

Delores said...

School...stuffy rooms...kids....snotty noses = kleenex. I'm surprised 14 boxes was enough.

Janie Junebug said...

In the down-and-out high school school where I taught, I was astonished at the number of kids who didn't have paper or a pencil or pen. They came to class with absolutely nothing and when it was time to work, they just sat there. I took in paper, pencils, pens, dry erase markers, tissues, and so on. They stole every single pencil the first day. After that they had to give me something they wanted back in order to use my supplies. I soon found that most of them gave me things they didn't care about so they could steal from me. After a couple of weeks, my dry erase markers were gone. I hate using the word "steal," but it's true. They didn't take those pencils so they could use them in other classes. They broke them and threw them in the trash. When I gave them a handout and said, Please don't write on it, then they wrote on it. If I said, You can write on this, then they didn't write on it and threw it in the trash. It wasn't every single student. Some of them wanted to learn. They were desperate to learn. Others were malicious. So many had already been in jail or juvenile detention and they weren't one bit ashamed of it. I was of little use there. They threatened me, threw things at me, called me names. A couple of girls asked where I was from. I said I had lived in Maryland for 15 years. One of them said, We ain't gonna learn nothin' from no Yankee lady.

They were right. They didn't learn a thing except that the administration was corrupt and encouraged them to be corrupt.

Love,
Janie

A Quiet Corner said...

We shop and stock up at BJs Wholesale, so I always have a linen closet filled with Kleenex!!! Cute story!...:)JP

Mildred Ratched said...

I'll show my age here and say I remember back when I was a kid and supplies were given to us by the school...I think that was back in the Stone Age! I refer to Walmart as "The Anti-Christ"...I truly hate to shop there. Do they sell anything 'made in America' at America's greatest retailer? Food for thought! Now, on to a comment about teachers...I so admire them (even the ones that aren't very good at their jobs). You guys have such a thankless job and that reminds me of a story I might have to write about someday soon.

Astri said...

Haha, I suppose you can never have too many boxes of tissue. :-)