Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Teachers can't resist bargains

So, most New York City public school teachers worth their sharpened pencils can tell you that August 1 is the date on which teachers may start purchasing supplies with their "teachers' choice" money. You spend every last penny of your $260, save all your receipts, and as long as they're dated after August 1, voila, you get your $260 check in, like, March.

Last year I didn't do such a great job of saving my receipts, and then in March I was scrambling to spend all the money I had left over. Which meant I got to buy a lot of neat stuff I wouldn't have otherwise bought, but I didn't get reimbursed for all the supplies I purchased earlier in the year. So this year I'm determined to itemize all my receipts -- starting on August 1. So I have purposefully been staying far, far away from teaching supplies of any kind until August 1. I went to Target and they had adorable and, more importantly, cheap supplies -- packs of 32 bookmarks that say "Reading...What a Bright Idea!" and "Color Your World With Books," packs of 24 certificates that say "I'm a Super Star Student!", and pink and blue hall passes -- and all of these things cost one dollar each. ONE DOLLAR! could I pass this up? Yes, I could have waited the two days until August 1 and then made a return trip to Target, but I went for broke and bought a whole bunch of stuff. I'm so excited to have fewer students this year -- less than 50 as opposed to 420! -- that I perked up at the thought that I could actually give away stuff without going broke on dinky "prizes" like I did last year.

I don't know if this is true of all teachers, but -- I. love. shopping. for school supplies. I always have, since the days when I was in elementary school and managed to convince my mother every year that I needed a newer, sharper, more colorful box of Crayola crayons. Being in the "Back to School" aisle at Target was like being let loose in a candy store after a long sugar drought: notebooks! folders! pencils! I had to remind myself very sternly that not only do I already have plenty of these types of supplies, but the woman whose desk I'm taking is a total pack rat who left me thirty years' worth of extra supplies. So I can't really begrudge myself the packs of bookmarks, can I? Shouldn't a reading teacher be giving away "Reading...What a Bright Idea!" bookmarks?

Now, if I could only find a planning book I like (unsurprisingly the Dollar Spot Target versions were unsatisfactory), I would be all set...I'm sure you can already guess exactly what I plan to do on August 1.


Lisa said...

I always keep in safe all the school supplies shopping receipts.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Hate to burst your bubble, but we're only getting $150 this year. Yes, I know- it sucks.

Smallest Twine said...

Well I'm very jealous of any money -- in Baltimore we get zip, nada, nothing, zero etc. But, I have to agree that I LOVE back to school shopping. And Target, ahhh Target, my one and only true love. So far I've bought 100 glue sticks and about one million folders, and a whole lot more. Very exciting.

J said...

i'm pretty sure that all teachers agree with you about the irresistable school supplies! :)
to itemize and store, i put all my receipts into a regular envelope near my desk at home. remember, you can use the receipts that don't make it for teachers' choice for your taxes!

Miss G said...

Teacher's choice money was cut, but have you tried Adopt a Classroom? I used it last year to buy lots of supplies for my classroom - it's great!