teacher parents buying school supplies

Preparing to go back to school requires a lot of work. For parents it means getting carpools ready, making lunches again, scheduling activities, and buying school supplies. For teachers it means getting classrooms ready, lesson plans, and buying school supplies.

Leland Michael, a teacher from Iowa shared his experience as he was out shopping for supplies for his classroom. These were supplies that he was purchasing, with his own money, on his own time as many teachers do because education budgets  are limited and seem to get smaller every year.

He had two vastly different experiences with parents while shopping recently at a local Walmart, and decided to post about them as a lesson to all about how kids learn the value of education at home.

The first parents he ran into were complaining about how much they had to buy, saying “This is just ridiculous, I don’t know how these teachers think we are suppose to get all this stuff” in front of their children. They were sending the message that teachers were demanding and lazy, questioning why they didn’t just get the supplies they needed themselves. Michael mentioned that not once did the parents notice his cart, which was overflowing with school supplies for his classroom.

Fast forward to Michael’s experience in the checkout line when a father and daughter noticed his cart, recognized that he was a teacher, thanked him for all of his hard work, and gave him a $25 Walmart gift card. Michael was thankful for the generous gift, but more moved by the message the dad was sending to his daughter.

“While I was extremely moved by the man’s generosity, the part that stuck with me the most was the difference in the message his daughter just heard from her dad compared to the other parents who had been complaining earlier.”

Basically he compared and contrasted the messages the different parents were sending to their children. The ones complaining were basically telling their kids “School is not important enough to spend money on it, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgement, and learning does not require investment.”

“However, as a parent, do your best to send the right message to your child. The man you gave me the gift card not only made my day, but I know that his daughter will enter the classroom this year with a very different perspective about her teacher and her education, and that is extremely powerful!”