Clearwater Record-Ewing News

One of my favorite pages I follow on Facebook is Bored Teachers.  

While the page generally posts funny memes about the plight of educators - like not being able to fit back into clothes after summer break or crawling through a desert after the first day of class or ideas to combat work-stress therapy - they also share legitimate concerns instructors face every day.

As a former teacher, the subtle (or not so subtle) humor hits home a lot of times.

Like the BT meme signaling August has officially arrived and it’s one long Sunday night.

Or the one about having to break into the quarter jar since it’s August and now I’m broke because I spent my last paycheck on bulletin board supplies and library books for my classroom.

Been there. Done that.

Even posts that aren’t geared to get a laugh but shout glaring truths about the state of education catch my attention.

A recent post featured a story from a teacher who was approached by two different parents while shopping. 

The teacher pushed a cart filled with notebooks, pens and pencils to use in his classroom.

The first set of parents complained about the amount of supplies needed for the upcoming year, blaming teachers for what the parents determined were “ridiculous needs.”

As the second set of parents made their way through the checkout line, the father thanked the educator, who was in line behind them, handed him a gift card to use for classroom supplies and offered thanks to him for being a teacher.

Each set of parents were with their children in the store.

Think about the lessons offered about the value of education.

Children with the first set of parents learned education isn’t a valuable commodity and, worse yet, discovered that teachers are the root of the problem.

Contrast that with the lesson provided by parental set number two.

Those children learned the importance of being prepared for school, that education is a priceless asset.

I’ve thought about that story several times this week, especially when one of the grandsons asked if a $13 Pokemon pencil box would fit in his school desk.

What? The pencil boxes in Target’s dollar spot won’t work? Wink. 

This much I know: I spent a lot of my hard-earned educator’s salary to purchase supplies for my classroom. It didn’t matter if it was library books, packages of composition notebooks, pens, paper or costumes and props for the one-act, if there was a need, I spent my own money.

Why wouldn’t I, or any other educator, for that matter? We want students to have a toolbox of materials that lead to success.

Since the first day of school is around the corner, think about messages you portray to your own family about the significance of the learning process.

Grab an extra set of supplies for your child’s classroom. Thank educators for navigating students toward individual success.

That’s an example worth setting.

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