Unless there is a financial hardship, buy the school supply list. The whole list. Don’t fight the details or the teacher on why she needs three boxes of Kleenex or a specific brand of pencil. Just buy it.
Our teachers have been rock stars long before this pandemic hit.
They have innovated and worked around overcrowded classrooms burdened by protocols of paperwork and lack of time. Late nights of grading and early wakeups for parent-teacher meetings were givens. So were angry emails and questioning of methods and requests.
2020-2021 delivered them a world of quarantines, masks, shields, and constant unknowns. They overcame, got creative, and adjusted to an ever-changing situation. Through it all, they loved our kids every step. We saw them shine, despite dealing with their and their family’s anxieties.
So now, they ask for a list. The list isn’t anything extraordinary: earbuds, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Crayola colored pencils, red plastic folders, and yellow three-prong cardboard folders. Whatever it is, just get it. The list takes pressure off them in this one small area. It allows them to focus on all the other unknowns.
What unknowns? Loads. The protocol changed again.
Many schools have no masks, no online option, no shields. There are kids out there praising the sky for this and another lot incredibly anxious over what this means for them. They have online children filtering back in and other kids who will take this opportunity to single out the kids who weren’t there last year. They have children who do not deal with change well and are faced with just that: another round of changes. There will be a breakdown in the learning levels of those who excelled at school last year and those who disappeared into the cracks.
And then the unanswerable questions. Will the variants change everything again? Could we be two months in and look at shutdowns and remasking? Is it possible as soon as they get the kids acclimated again, quarantines strike? There is simply the steadfast unexpected.
So a school supply list… just get it for them. Whatever they ask, and the exact brand if you are financially able.
And perhaps… throw a bottle of wine in for good measure.