#16

Part of a homeroom teacher’s job is distributing – and keeping track of – all manner of handouts and forms. Here’s an area for which technology is actually an improvement. Years ago, there was an endless stream of forms, and now, of course, there are emails and parent portals for many items.

In my district, in early fall, Kidstuff books have been sold to support special education opportunities, filled with pretty decent local coupons. Of course, it’s a good cause. And yet, I couldn’t help sighing when the shopping bags of books were dropped off in my classroom each year, with lists to try to track them.

For here’s the thing: the books needed to be sent home with every student. No matter if you knew they wouldn’t make it past the locker; no matter if the students said that their parents NEVER bought ANYTHING.

We had tried getting away without doing that for a couple of years: just asking the kids if they knew that their parents generally bought the books, and sending them home with only those students. But we were asked not to do that anymore.

So we put their names on the books with stickers, and we added them to a list, and we put the information on our homework boards. Eventually they came back – or, occasionally, the money did. Once in a while, neither did, and then it was generally the job of the staff member in charge to get a hold of them, after all of our entreaties had fallen on deaf ears.

Some of those had been in the lockers from the day they were handed out, of course. We usually could ferret those out, eventually.

At the end, we received a free book for helping out – not that we really had a choice, but still, a nice perk.

No big deal – not really. Just one more very small moment of our day.