Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slate & Chalk

Just a freaking rant to post about today.
No soap box 'cause remember I'm unemployed so too broke to buy a box. Also it's a few days past garbage pick up otherwise I'd score a box outta some one's recycle bin. Please post your thoughts about my rave because I want to start a national movement or at least a local one. So here's my gripe.

What makes a public school teacher decide that only certain colors in regards to a binder/folder are acceptable for their class ? Why is it necessary to be color specific ? Can't any folder provided it has the required pockets & prongs no matter the color do? Can't the subject just be written on the top right hand corner like we did old school ?
What's with cloth book covers which retail for $4.99 ? Are these covers so much better than brown paper bags ?
Are teachers receiving a kick back from manufactures of school supplies ?

I mean think about it seriously, if there are 28 students all needing a cloth book cover that equals $139.72
Now x that amount by 6 classes = 168 students / 168 cloth book covers. Total of $838.32.
That's a bit of coin by anyone standard.

So here's my beef.
Took DD#3 out to buy 3 folders to complete her list of required school supplies. She needed three folders that were in the following colors; pale purple, light orange, and bright green. I kid you not.
So after going to not only the mega store & an office supply place we finally found them, sorta. The folder were in paper not plastic.
A few years ago I started purchasing their school folders in plastic which @ the end of the year could be washed in warm soapy water to remove the plain white address label on the top right hand corner. The label stated their name,grade, & subject.
So far my children have been using the same folders for 3 years.
So far so good right? Yeah, until this school year when my 8th grader put together her backpack for school & informed me we have an issue. We did have the right colors. Not to mention the two cloth book covers on her list.

So we spent like a total of $3.67 for 3 paper folders, 2 ten packs of pens.
No cloth covers. Instead I emailed the teacher informing her I was unemployed. Also that I found it personally offensive to encourage consumerism especially when that product isn't made in America. Practically asked her if she didn't believe in being green. Then I put a spin on the how a cloth cover stifles the creative juices by not encouraging mindless doodling on a simple brown paper book cover. Add something along the lines of please call if this is a problem and I hope this won't affect her grade in your class. Thought about adding that we could contact our house of worship for financial assistance but husband thought that was over kill. Besides we really wouldn't do that.
Now before anyone comments about how hard teaching is I have to say I agree. My brother teaches 6th grade in an inner city school. It's not about the profession it's about need vs. want.
I mean back in the day it was as simple as a slate & a piece of chalk.
I understand the calculus calculator. I even get needing a lap top in certain classes.
But a cloth book cover?

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I don't understand the cloth book covers either. I think that's a new fad since mine were in school. But I do have an idea on the colored folders. Maybe each color is for a certain subject or class so the teacher can tell at a glance which stack it is supposed to be in when she takes them up for grading. For example, if I were teaching English, I might want my first period students to have one color, and my 2nd period to have another color, etc. Then, if something happened & they got mixed up, they would be easier to sort out. Or if all the folders are for the same teacher, maybe they are for different things in the class. Just a guess. Hope the teacher can work with you on the covers. Your idea of reusing the vinyl folders is great - plus they don't tear up like the paper ones. Slide around more though.

  2. And I thought schools were about education!?! Was this a mandate for all the classes or just this particular class? Seems very strange to be so micromanaged. The only thing that ever dictated folder colour at my school was imagination. In fact it was always so much fun working out how to decorate it and make it individual. Anyway, all the best.

  3. When I moved back home I registered my kids in my old school. In the first week of school they sent home a note that I needed to buy shoes with white soles so they didn't make marks on their floors. I wrote them a note that it was not in their handbook and being newly divorced and moving home left me financial unable to accomodate their whims but if they felt like suppling them I would appreciate it....never heard from them again...didn't get new shoes either!

  4. Bravo!!!
    Gotta ask if the following year that request was in the school handbook ?

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments.
    I'm sure each of my daughter's teachers have a valid reason for the color coding. My distain is in the narrowness of it all. I mean light purple not just purple?
    The cloth covers are just pure nonsense.
    If a child turns in the wrong folder to a teacher then dish out the appropriate consequences. In the real world there usually isn't something as simple as colors to keep a person straight. It's the ablity to listen to directions.

  6. you could always
    your bbbf or whatever you call me..

    ps I though i already posted this so if this is no.2 I am sorry

  7. You have been waiting how long to be able to say that back to me ... ? Pay back huh my bbgf.

    It's offical I have been tagged as that trouble some Mom by daughter's teachers. Got any brown paper bags we can have for book covers?


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest