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.
Except...today 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! Um...how 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.