Believe it or not, back-to-school time is upon us. Yes, once the Fourth of July comes and goes, every big box store switches over their summer section to pencils, folders, and notebooks. But before you take your kids school supply shopping this year, one teacher posted some sound advice for parents on TikTok, speaking for teachers everywhere.
She begs for parents to just keep it simple.
First grade teacher and content creator Katie Alburger posted a video while browsing Target’s school supply section, pointing out some of the over-the-top, distracting school supplies offered to kids that just make things harder on teachers in the end. Alburger is begging parents to stay away from buying these kinds of supplies no matter how much their kids ask, and even if they think they might be “better” than the plain options.
“As a teacher, I’m here to tell you that the more basic you go, the more your teacher will appreciate it,” she said.
And then she gave some choice examples.
“For example, if your child’s school’s file list has a ruler, this is what they’re talking about,” she continued while holding up a plain wooden standard 12-inch ruler. “Not a snap bracelet ruler that is going to end up hurting someone.”
She also gives glue sticks as an example of something that several school supply companies have tried to “upgrade” — much to the chagrin of teachers, who want all of their kids to work with the same materials.
Alburger also mentions how going the simpler route will save parents money, all while making it easier for teachers to have community supplies that are similar for everyone.
“Almost every school’s file list is going to have glue sticks, right? We don’t need colored scented glue sticks because for 40 more cents; you can get 12 of regular glue sticks — and chances are your child’s teacher probably does community supplies, which means that would come in handy to have 12 more than four,” she explained.
She also asks parents to avoid markers and crayons with bells and whistles like scents.
Alburger then focuses on pencil boxes and the dreaded trend of push poppers that are marketed as “fidget” toys.
“OK, they need a basic pencil box,” she said. “I can have a character on it if they want to get a little bit more personalized, but a fidget pencil box is going to become a toy and your teacher’s worst enemy. So, please don’t do that to them. I completely understand that poppets are a fidget that some children need. They just don’t need it on their pencil box.”
Alburger knows the importance for kids to be able to expresses themselves and their individuality through this school supplies, however, she offers up several other types of supplies where kids can do go all out like backpacks or lunchboxes.
She concludes, “Basic school supplies that we need in a classroom should not be a toy.”
Once Alburger’s post went viral with over 300,000 views, several TikTok users spoke up in her comment section, criticizing the fact that the OP mentioned that some teachers participate in what is called communal supplies.
One user wrote, “Ok but in my day, my supplies were mine. Not shared. So it was nice to buy those special things.”
Another user echoed, “I never liked community supplies. I wanted the cute stuff and I got it!! I always knew what was mine because it was different from everyone else’s.”
Another said, “Teachers also need to differentiate on their lists what supplies are going to be used as ‘community’ supplies.”
One parent clapped back and said, “I’m buying for my kid only not the whole class. And I’ll get what my kid wants.”
Another agreed and said, “I buy things for my own kids and don’t allow their things to be apart of the ‘community supplies’. I do donate the teachers multiple times a year.”
There were also several commenters who sided with Alburger’s ask of parents when it comes to back-to-school supply shopping.
“As a teacher, THANK YOU for this video!! Every parent needs to hear this,” one user wrote.
Another wrote, “This is a perfect example—a teacher literally explaining what to do and parents defying it.”
One user made a great point in saying that there is truly no point in buying the more expensive, fancy supplies because the chances of that going missing or ending up broken are very high.
“Save the fancy stuff for home so it doesn’t get lost, stolen or broken. 😁,” they wrote.
Alburger is truly doing every parent a solid by providing this advice. I know I wouldn’t want to send my kid to school with expensive school supplies that a teacher didn’t even ask for that could end up being a distraction that takes away from her learning time.