Down & Dirty Secondary: BTS Problems

Welcome to the first installment of Down & Dirty Secondary! This is a link blog party that will focus on some of the struggles and exciting times that occur within the secondary classroom. This will occur on the 3rd Monday of each month with a new topic each time!

This week, the theme is Back to School Problems. What is the single biggest struggle in your classroom when getting ready to go back to school?

For me, my biggest problem with back to school is that after elementary, parents stop buying school supplies. I know, crazy, right?! It's like once they hit middle school, all they will supposedly need is a pencil, and I am sometimes lucky if they have that! Combine this with the fact that I am special ed (which sadly tends to correlate with low socio-economic) and you have a recipe for disaster.

Last year, out of all of my 24 special ed students, only 1 came back to school with the notebook I had requested. And no, I am not exaggerating. I was not prepared for such a lack of supplies. So this year, I am trying to be preemptive. 

That's right. 30+ notebooks and over 500 pencils that I paid for with MY money. THIS is my biggest back to school problem because I do not even have any children of my own, yet I am having to supply for my students! And forget getting anything from the school! Our math department budget also has to pay for our printer ink. Printer ink x 8 teachers = no budget. You're on your own for supplies.

What is your biggest problem when faced with back to school as a secondary teacher?

To participate, please be sure to grab the Down & Dirty Secondary code on the right-hand side of this page and add it to your blog post. Come back when you are finished and link up down below. (Just  reminder: be a nice linky and comment on 2 people before you and 1 after)

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1 comment

  1. Ugh! The battle of school supplies! I usually have a box at the end of the school year I tell students they can donate supplies they don't want anymore. It takes a bit of going through binders and recycling old papers, or ripping out the five pages that actually got used in a spiral, but in the end I have a nice "emergency" fund of supplies for the next year.

    Keep an eye out for Staples and Office Depots with their "loss leaders." It's when they do things like sell binders for a penny because they hope you'll also buy a printer while you're there. They normally have maximums (limit: three binders per person), but if you show your teacher ID and talk to a manager they will often waive the limits, or at least increase them.

    Good luck keeping your students stocked!


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