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  #101  
Old September 6th 08, 04:07 AM posted to misc.kids
toypup[_2_]
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Posts: 222
Default school supplies!



"Ericka Kammerer" wrote in message
news
toypup wrote:

If a business gives a needed supply, I think it should be appreciated.
Sure, it's good publicity for them, but it is a generous offer. We
shouldn't be grubbing for "what about this? what about that?" That's a
good way to discourage donations altogether. We use the money we save
from the donation for this and that. If the donation isn't needed, turn
it down and make suggestions for alternatives.


It is true that gifts should be appreciated. It is also
true that givers should be thoughtful.


Yes, but they are thoughtful when they give something that is useful for the
school and the school needs. Just because they also need books and pencils
and paper doesn't mean it's the company's job to go out and get that, too,
since they were kind enough to supply computers. Now, I'm plenty sure they
think the school needs computers. I'd think so, as an outsider, and they
are probably seeing it like I do. If the school doesn't need it, they can
turn it down. It's not like the company came by and presented 30 live
horses.

  #102  
Old September 6th 08, 05:06 AM posted to misc.kids
Rosalie B.
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Posts: 984
Default school supplies!

Ericka Kammerer wrote:

Anne Rogers wrote:

But my bet is that I know more about it than many of the parents, just
from picking up random snippets of information - and it's not surprising
if not knowing where exactly the money is going that parents quibble at
the cost.


If people were told at the beginning how much something would cost, no
ones children would ever do anything.

Honestly, I've been heavily involved in communicating
this sort of information for several activities, and I've come
to the conclusion that while a lot of organizations are horrible
on the communication front, being good at putting the information
out isn't anywhere near enough! There are way too many parents
who just don't read, and I'm starting to lose a certain amount
of sympathy for them. It's downright irritating to spend hours
and hours putting together handbooks and presentations and
goodness knows how many other ways of conveying information,
only to still have some parents who gripe about not knowing
what the requirements are (or just assuming that requirements
don't apply to them). The stories go on and on and on.

I once had a parent who complained to me because I didn't notify her
when I saw her son running to school in the morning. He wasn't
supposed to do that (I think it was a good idea myself as he had way
too much energy to sit still in the classroom), and I should have
known that he was supposed to be taking the bus. This was the same
woman who 'had to' buy a broom to get a broom straw.

I certainly relate to the dance stories, but in my
opinion, it ought to be self-evident that pretty much any
activity has stuff you need to know if you're going to pursue
it seriously, and that means you have to read the material
provided, attend the orientations scheduled, ask questions
when something is unclear, and so forth.

I don't think there is any way to force information
into the head of someone who isn't interested. Like I said,
there are plenty of organizations that are really bad at
sharing information, in which case the organization has
a good deal of responsibility for the ensuing confusion, but
there are also plenty of folks who assume that unless someone
corners them one-on-one and explains everything in very
small words, it just isn't important enough to bother with.

Best wishes,
Ericka

  #103  
Old September 6th 08, 05:59 AM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
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Posts: 47
Default school supplies!


I certainly relate to the dance stories, but in my
opinion, it ought to be self-evident that pretty much any
activity has stuff you need to know if you're going to pursue
it seriously, and that means you have to read the material
provided, attend the orientations scheduled, ask questions
when something is unclear, and so forth.


Though on the otherhand, you are clearly very bright, it's entirely
possible that it being self-evident that questions need to be asked or
information obtained just isn't a place that a certain percentage of the
population is aware of, just because you know and I know doesn't make
Joe Bloggs understand that concept.

I am quite honestly stunned at what some people don't think of - there
was an article in the british news recently about how some ridiculous
proportion of cancer patients were going without food to pay for drugs,
which might not seem bizarre to an American where many pay full price or
percentages for drugs, but in the UK there is a universal prescription
system and if you pay, you pay a fixed rate (about 14 dollars), but
there is also a system where if you need more than 14 prescriptions in a
year you can get a prepayment card that covers everything for just under
100 pounds.

The reason why people were having to go without food to pay for drugs
was because they didn't know this system exists and if they did, that
they didn't have 100 pounds (which is quite reasonable) and didn't find
out that they could pay it 2 pounds a week over a year. The attitude of
many of the cases reported in the article was either that the they
should get free prescriptions or that they should have been told - but
how can you be told everything and it's quite possible that in the
attempt to communicate everything they were actually told it, I know
when I got to the point of needing the card, it wasn't a case of
thinking this is getting expensive are there any other options, more
realising I must be hitting the threshold and asking the pharmacist how
I got one and them handing over a form and a receipt so I could count
the cost of the ones I'd just paid for against it - obviously you don't
expect everyone to know everything, so a small percentage saying they
skipped food so they could pay for drugs wouldn't be a surprise, but the
number was 44% - that's almost half of cancer patients not being able to
find something out and act upon it that was as simple as asking the
pharmacist, finding an envelope and stamp, writing a cheque, or
providing bank details.

When the numbers are that big and I've done the process myself and have
no reason to suspect that it's suddenly changed and become a secret that
nobody tells you, you do start to wonder if something you think is
self-evident really isn't.

Cheers
Anne
  #104  
Old September 6th 08, 06:13 AM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default school supplies!


It's not very challenging at all. A good while before
the activity requiring the supplies you send home a note that
says the class is collecting pizza boxes for a project and
asking folks to send in whatever pizza boxes they have. When
the required number have been collected, send another note home
saying mission accomplished. Problem solved. You just have to
plan ahead.


Good in theory, but would you honestly get your donation there as
willingly and as quickly if you knew it was just going towards a general
total, rather than having the pressure of possibly on that day if you
didn't send the child with the relevant thing that they would be upset
at being left out - if I'm the only parent that would in practice end up
behaving like that then your system would work, I may well have a unique
personality trait, but I doubt it.

I'm not the parent who's jumping up volunteering all the time, but in my
head I am very much thinking for the good of the group, so in theory
it's a great idea and the first time it was done, I'd probably be right
there with my contribution, but the next time, once you'd removed the
guilt feeling of your kid being upset, I might not go into the garage in
the rain to get whatever was needed, or take a detour to pick it up or
whatever, because when it comes to the crunch, I'll be honest and admit,
that it's the fear of having to deal with a disappointed child because
they couldn't make a train like everyone else that drives getting hold
of that big box, not that making a train is some great learning
experience for the group as a whole.

If I really am the only parent that is like that then great, the
relationship that I describe isn't challenging as it can be acheived by
simple passing of notes, but to me, passing notes isn't acheiving the
relationship that provides the understanding I suggested, it's something
more that means when I screw up and forget that train day needed a box
AND a soft toy, that the teacher was able to be creative and make the
kid not even notice that mummy messed up, rather than being frustrated
that thing weren't going as planned.

Cheers
Anne
  #105  
Old September 6th 08, 06:21 AM posted to misc.kids
Anne Rogers[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 47
Default school supplies!


Oh, and BTW, I don't put up with the "I'm the teacher and I said so"
attitude, either. Just because you sent home a letter demanding I WILL
volunteer for a party for a holiday, doesn't mean I will. If you want
my help, you may politely ask, you may not state that I AM helping you.


Assumed volunteering can be one of the most hurtful things possible.
When we arrived here and picked a church to try, we did notice that
there was something about taking turns in the nursery, which is hardly a
key point when you're thinking about trying something out, so after
being there two or three Sundays, the first phone call we got from
anyone at the church was to tell us when we were helping in the nursery
- someone there really needs to learn how to welcome people, by that
stage you couldn't have even called us regular attenders, let alone
members, they either new nothing about us - in which case, is it fair to
assume that volunteering in the nursery was a good thing to ask, or if
they did know anything about us, then they knew we were new to the area,
having moved internationally, hardly a time when you're available to be
involuntarily made to help when you've only been there a month.

Needless to say, I didn't return that phone call and although we did
join that church, we joined a new service that had been set up
differently, no pressure was put on us at all and within about 3 months
we were both on the rota for helping with kids groups - when we were
ready for it!

Cheers
Anne
  #106  
Old September 6th 08, 12:04 PM posted to misc.kids
NL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 444
Default school supplies!

Anne Rogers schrieb:

It's not very challenging at all. A good while before
the activity requiring the supplies you send home a note that
says the class is collecting pizza boxes for a project and
asking folks to send in whatever pizza boxes they have. When
the required number have been collected, send another note home
saying mission accomplished. Problem solved. You just have to
plan ahead.


Good in theory, but would you honestly get your donation there as
willingly and as quickly if you knew it was just going towards a general
total, rather than having the pressure of possibly on that day if you
didn't send the child with the relevant thing that they would be upset
at being left out - if I'm the only parent that would in practice end up
behaving like that then your system would work, I may well have a unique
personality trait, but I doubt it.


Well, in Kindergarten Kids were asked to bring in eggs to paint for
easter, you know, plain eggs with the contents blown out.
Over the course of maybe two years I had collected about 30 such eggs.
Every time I baked and didn't need to separate the eggs I'd blow them
out instead of cracking the egg. I used the shells myself as decorations
for easter, just plain, not painted or anything. Well, I asked at the
kindergarten how many eggs they needed and she said four where fine, but
if I had any extra to go ahead and bring them in. I think they were
rather stunned when I brought in 30 shells the next day.

So, telling me to collect stuff to go toward a common goal would be just
fine because then I could go ahead and hit shoe stores when I'm actually
near them instead of going on a hunt on the one day they give me to find
a shoebox.

But in general I appreciate it if I am being given some time to collect
stuff instead of being put on the spot a day ahead and basically have
24hours to come up with a plan.

cu
nicole
  #107  
Old September 6th 08, 12:49 PM posted to misc.kids
Donna Metler
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 309
Default school supplies!


"toypup" wrote in message
...


"Ericka Kammerer" wrote in message
news
toypup wrote:

If a business gives a needed supply, I think it should be appreciated.
Sure, it's good publicity for them, but it is a generous offer. We
shouldn't be grubbing for "what about this? what about that?" That's a
good way to discourage donations altogether. We use the money we save
from the donation for this and that. If the donation isn't needed,
turn it down and make suggestions for alternatives.


It is true that gifts should be appreciated. It is also
true that givers should be thoughtful.


Yes, but they are thoughtful when they give something that is useful for
the school and the school needs. Just because they also need books and
pencils and paper doesn't mean it's the company's job to go out and get
that, too, since they were kind enough to supply computers. Now, I'm
plenty sure they think the school needs computers. I'd think so, as an
outsider, and they are probably seeing it like I do. If the school
doesn't need it, they can turn it down. It's not like the company came by
and presented 30 live horses.

And believe me, we were grateful. However, the problem comes when people,
like yourself, see the media coverage of "X elementary got $25,000 from
VH1/Time Warner to start a band program" and automatically assume that this
means that there's $25,000 to spend on other stuff-like, say, paper and
crayons.

There isn't. There wasn't more than $250 discretionary funds in the budget
for the entire music program for an 800 student school (and the same was
true for every classroom). The budgeted funds paid for my salary, and that
was it.

The same is true when the school buys a new reading program-chances are high
that the funding came from a government block grant or state funding, and
that it does not replace funds that would have been spent anyway and could
then be reassigned.

Now, when a teacher has $250 in discretionary funds for the whole year for
her classroom to spend, it's really hobson's choice (and, in my school we
had to purchase our own photocopy paper out of that)-if you buy individual
student supplies, you're probably not going to have any money for classroom
consumables, like materials for science projects, or more involved social
studies displays or whatnot (or, for me, as the music teacher, replacing the
broken maracas that the excited kindergartener banged together too hard).
And those are things which can't easily be broken down and parents asked to
contribute to.

The bottom line is this-if most schools and districts are run the way mine
is, there's a lot of money running around, but that does NOT mean there's
any for school supplies for individual students. Which means either the
teacher pays for them out of pocket-and if you think buying supplies for
your personal children is expensive, try doing it for 20 or more-or parents
do.

If a budget allocation of say, $20 for each student for individual classroom
supplies was in place, on top of the allocation now given, then parents
probably wouldn't have to buy much.





  #108  
Old September 6th 08, 01:13 PM posted to misc.kids
Rosalie B.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 984
Default school supplies!

"Michelle J. Haines" wrote:

Rosalie B. wrote:

It is fair in that those people who pay taxes don't want to pay them,
and try to get by as cheaply as they can. So they don't fund the
schools. If their taxes really supported the schools, they wouldn't
have to do that. OTOH I think that buying three times the amount of
school supplies is pretty cheap compared to higher taxes. And it does
actually only impact people who have children in school, and also have
the ability to buy the supplies instead of putting it all back on the
teachers.


Oh, good grief. When I'm buying school supplies for four children at
one time, it's a pretty damned hefty hit to the bank all at once, you
know. So, yes, I think it's a little bit unreasonable to EXPECT parents
to be buy 3x the amount they need to be.


I don't think the school expects the parents to buy extra. I think it
is more of a hope that someone will come through.

For my own children, my attitude has always been that I will send them
with what they actually need on the first day and not stress about the
extras. I would regard glue sticks and Kleenex as extras. Paper,
pens, crayons (for the younger kids), folders and notebooks OTOH are
essentials. So if I didn't have the money for 3 glue sticks, I might
buy one or I might buy none. This might not work if you have a child
who is going to be upset about not having what everyone else has, but
my children all eventually learned to deal.

Oh, and BTW, I don't put up with the "I'm the teacher and I said so"
attitude, either. Just because you sent home a letter demanding I WILL
volunteer for a party for a holiday, doesn't mean I will. If you want
my help, you may politely ask, you may not state that I AM helping you.


I've never gotten anything like that, nor have I ever sent anything
out like that. The only time that's ever happened to me is through
the military. When I was pg with #1, I got a note from the squadron
wives telling me that they were having a 4th of July picnic (which I
wasn't planning to attend because my husband had the duty, and we only
had one car), and my contribution was potato salad for 50 people. I
had never made potato salad. I said that I didn't have any way to get
it there, and they said that they'd send someone over for it. So I
got out my cookbook and made potato salad, but I was furious about it
and the NEXT time I was told me make potato salad (and there WAS a
next time and it WAS potato salad), I just went to the deli and bought
it.

Luckily for the teacher, my MIL likes to do school parties. I,
however, don't. They are welcome to ask me to chaperone field trips (my
own schedule allowing) because I happen to enjoy doing that. But I
don't organize parties. (And, btw, when I was involved in
homeschooling, I didn't do it then either...I organized the field trips.)

Also, just because the school sends home little "school/parent
contracts" insisting they must be signed doesn't mean they get signed.
"Here's a list of our legal responsibilities that don't actually change
whether or not you sign this. Here's a list of the ways we have decided
we want you to parent. Sign and return it." Um, no. They do keep
sending them home, though.

I have never been able to get over the outrage that was expressed when
I asked the kids to have a ruler with metric marks on it (in addition
to inches).


If you're equating me being a tad bit upset that I supplied my
5-year-old with enough school material for three five year olds, which
were then immediately confiscated from her with a parent being upset
over a ruler with inches vs. inches/metric (which isn't even a choice
anymore, btw) then I think you need to go back and try reading again, or
at least set aside some of your personal experiences, because you're not
seeing the forest for the trees.


Why do you think quantifying the basis for outrage is important. If
the parent us upset, the reason for the anger and whether it is
justified doesn't have much if anything to do with their actual
behavior. Plus, in this case, they went to the principal about it
which he didn't like and which was a black mark against me in his
book. I was a new teacher in his school, and he was always looking
for ways to fault me after that because his first experience was that
he had to fend off an angry parent. Whether I was right or not didn't
matter to him.

  #109  
Old September 6th 08, 01:19 PM posted to misc.kids
Rosalie B.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 984
Default school supplies!

"toypup" wrote:

"Ericka Kammerer" wrote in message
news
toypup wrote:

If a business gives a needed supply, I think it should be appreciated.
Sure, it's good publicity for them, but it is a generous offer. We
shouldn't be grubbing for "what about this? what about that?" That's a
good way to discourage donations altogether. We use the money we save
from the donation for this and that. If the donation isn't needed, turn
it down and make suggestions for alternatives.


It is true that gifts should be appreciated. It is also
true that givers should be thoughtful.


Yes, but they are thoughtful when they give something that is useful for the
school and the school needs. Just because they also need books and pencils
and paper doesn't mean it's the company's job to go out and get that, too,
since they were kind enough to supply computers. Now, I'm plenty sure they
think the school needs computers. I'd think so, as an outsider, and they
are probably seeing it like I do. If the school doesn't need it, they can
turn it down. It's not like the company came by and presented 30 live
horses.


I don't think the school would ever turn it down even if they didn't
need or want the computers (or the 30 live horses) and had not
intended to have any. It would be massively bad publicity for them
because probably the company donating would want the GOOD publicity
for their generosity, and not getting it would make them angry. And
they would tell the papers etc etc and then the taxpayers would be
outraged etc.



  #110  
Old September 6th 08, 02:22 PM posted to misc.kids
Michelle J. Haines
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 66
Default school supplies!

Rosalie B. wrote:

I don't think the school expects the parents to buy extra. I think it
is more of a hope that someone will come through.


I think you should meet the teachers at this school, then.

I've never gotten anything like that, nor have I ever sent anything
out like that.


We have gotten a letter like that from every one of these teachers,
except the fifth grade teacher last year. "Here are the parties you are
expected to help with, you may choose your preference and I will assign
you one. It is your responsibility to contact the other parents
assigned to your party and make arrangements."

Uh.....

Why do you think quantifying the basis for outrage is important. If
the parent us upset, the reason for the anger and whether it is
justified doesn't have much if anything to do with their actual
behavior.


Um, I'm sorry, I think it does. Complaining about a ruler seems rather
silly (although circumstances back then were different, I dunno, but
still, every child must use the metric system now)...however,
complaining to the principal because the music teacher said to my son in
class "Your parents say you're supposed to be smart? I just don't see
it." Yes, I have justification to be a bit irritated.

Michelle
Flutist
 




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