Another school year has begun and with it came incredibly long lines of those shopping for school supplies. As a college student with no children of my own, I was rather surprised at the amount of things filling shoppers’ carts. Their stacks of folders, crayons, pencils, erasers, glue, paint, and so much more towered over my pack of pens and 100 count of notecards. Your typical childless shopper would probably be appalled at this seemingly excessive preparation for another year in elementary school.
But I am a student teacher.
This is the year that I take over a class and finally put into practice all I have been studying. It all began when I went to ‘Meet the Teacher’ night at my school the week before classes started. Only 2 of my 19 students brought in their supplies that night, while many others promised to bring it on the first day. When Monday morning arrived, I imagined that it would be a blur of pencils, crayons, and composition books. Yet at the end of the day, we were still short in some of the listed objects.
As I have explained before, I am a college student. I understand money being tight and getting only what is necessary. I also know what it is like to be blessed and able to help someone out who may be in a tight spot. In my class we have students of all learning levels, various racial backgrounds, and in different socio-economic classes. While the frugal and thrifty person in me says save the extra pennies and get most of what is on the list-maybe reusing last year’s somewhat worn folders, the future teacher in me pleads for parents to get everything.
When there are 19 students and only 15 red folders for their reading worksheets, I will be making a late night trip to the store to get more so that Sally and Jim can have one just like everyone else. When we run out of tissues halfway through the year because half of the class got colds twice, I will be bringing what I have from home or again going to the wonderful world of Wal-Mart.
I know that the supplies list may seem ridiculous at points (I mean, who is going to use 10 glue sticks?), but if the teacher asks for it, trust him or her. Those glue sticks may be the very things that hold together the popsicle sticks that create the Cathedral of Notre Dame as the students learn about European history. So I ask, as a broke student teacher ready to teach the next generation, that you work with your students’ teachers. A simple message asking if there is any way you can help bring in extra supplies or volunteer in some way will touch their hearts. The smallest things oftentimes make the biggest impact.
Let’s go the extra pencil.
“Let us remember: One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” ~Malala Yousafzai
Shelby is a college student with one year before she becomes an Elementary school teacher. She loves Jesus, her family, sports and coffee! Although she would rather have control over everything in her life, she is learning that God may just be more capable. When she isn’t working or studying, you can find her spending time with her family and friends.