It’s the last week of school, and I’m already thinking about what to put on my classroom supplies list for next year. The simplest things that come to mind include pencils, notebooks, paper, yadda, yadda, yadda. All the normal stuff for a second grade class.
But if I could really ask for anything, what would I ask for?
The REAL Classroom Supplies Wish List
An endless supply of glue sticks. But not just regular glue sticks; I want the finest glue possible. Engineered by the same geniuses who invented silly putty. I want glue sticks that don’t dry out the first time a kid forgets to put the lid back on for all of twelve minutes. (Especially in our arid New Mexico climate.) Also, I want glue sticks that don’t get long and stringy, and that don’t waste a solid centimeter at the nub, when you reach the bottom of the screw. Make them recyclable, too, while you’re at it. But don’t make them scented. What genius thought kids need even more incentive to eat or huff glue?
Maybe the same geniuses can make pencil erasers that don’t disintegrate at the slightest bit of friction with paper. Kids don’t have the greatest motor skills yet, and they tend to overdo it when they need to erase something. I actually forbid them from using erasers for the first few weeks of school, instead teaching them that it’s okay to do a little strike-though on minor mistakes, rather than make me endure the unbearably long thirty to sixty seconds it takes to go, “oops,” flip the pencil around, drop it on the floor, scramble for it under the desk, erase the ENTIRE SHEET OF PAPER, and somehow only manage to smudge the misspelled word worse, then flip the pencil back around, and write NEXT TO the mistake anyway.
Jesus. Right, erasers. Add them to the list.
Scissors that Don’t Get Lost…
I want a class set of scissors that are magnetically tethered to the students’ desks, so they can’t wander off too far. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve warned the children NOT to walk with the blades sticking up.
This One Might Actually Work, Though…
On an unrelated note, you know how there are automatic stapling machines? You slide a stack of papers into a slot, and a sensor staples them for you? I want that, but for band-aids. Simply place the arm, finger, shoulder (don’t ask), whatever body part in front of the sensor, and a fresh band aid is applied to the child.
I’m sure if the band aids didn’t come with me saying, “there there,” kissing the boo-boo, and listening to the kid complain about their microscopically minor injury, I wouldn’t get nearly as many requests for them. It’s like that experiment with the baby rhesus monkeys and the mannequin mother monkeys. The babies preferred to spend time with the mother that was wrapped in cloth over the one made of cold hard wire, even when the wire mom had milk and the warm one didn’t. (I’m the cloth mom, in this comparison. And the kids won’t stop climbing all over me.)
Assorted Other Classroom Supplies
I’d also like a roll of aluminum foil to wrap myself in. One that might repel the children when I need some quiet time to grade all of their chaotically erased work.
What else would be really good on some kind of automated dispenser… stickers? Send me a packet of stickers with the backs already peeled off of them; that would save me so much time.
Here’s another machine, but I’m not confident that it exists. I want a nose-blowing assistant device. Usually, it’s the same two or three kids who blow their nose every twelve minutes (you know, alternating with the kid who lets his glue dry out every twelve minutes) and they spend an unfortunate amount of time just sticking the tissue as far up their nose as their finger will go, searching for the source of their runny mucus. Apparently, the trick to teaching kids how to blow their noses with adequate pressure is to tell them to cover up one nostril and blow the other. Then switch and repeat. But I’m tired of explaining it. There must be a mask-thing they can stick their adorable faces in that will suck it all out, like a vacuum. I bet they sell it at Target!
Moving on, I would really like a bottomless fridge full of reasonably healthy snacks. For me. Not the kids. They can eat the sugar-coated, watermelon-flavored, freeze-dried, cranberry packets in the cafeteria.
More Wished-For Classroom Supplies (Pipe Dream Edition)
I want dry-erase Expo markers that don’t dry out. Just like the glue.
I want all-purpose cleansing wipes that don’t dry out after wiping one desk. Just like the glue. It would be nice if they worked for dissolving dirt, not just disinfecting. The main ingredient should not be ethyl alcohol.
I want Post-It notes that have the elementary writing lines (you know, with the dotted line in the middle?) already printed on them. Blank post-its don’t work, and regular wide-ruled lines are too hard at the beginning of second grade. E’s become as tall as T’s. Nothing is legible without that dotted line in the middle. But post-it sized paper is way less intimidating than a whole sheet of paper. And before you suggest that I cut paper to a smaller size, I’d like to inform you that all of the scissors in the room are now magnetically attached to a metal cabinet. And they’re somehow out of even my reach. The one student who’s taller than me put them there.
I could go on, but the principal needs this supply list request in an email by this afternoon. So she can have all summer to think about it, before asking us to type up a new one in the fall all over again. So, I’ve gotta go. But enjoy your summer break! And don’t let your kiddo eat all that scented glue that I didn’t let them take out of their backpack!