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The typical back-to-school rush for both parents and teachers is, simply, crazy.
It’s crazy that underpaid teachers have to spend hundreds of dollars (easy) out of their own pockets for the basic supplies needed to do their jobs.  How many jobs require you to supply your own pens and paper and paper towels and tissues? But teachers are forever digging deeper and deeper for our kids. Crazy.
It’s crazy, too, that parents need to figure out a different school supply system every year for every child. Is the list required?  Does it come home in May or June?  Is it on the school web site? It’s printed at one school but emailed at another? It’s district-wide for the 4th graders, but Mrs. Jones wants 4 additional supplies just for her students. Heaven forbid you forget the list when you make your Staples or Target trek. Double crazy.
Making back-to-school and school supply lists a lot less crazy and a lot more effective for both teachers and parents is what is all about.  The simple idea is to create one site – one really simple-to-use site – for all these lists from all schools.  No more guessing where the lists are.  No more lists in 6 different formats. No more sad lists left home on the kitchen counter (find lists on your smart phone while you’re at the store? Yup!)
While we’re making the school supply list chore a lot easier for parents, we’re also making the classroom supply (wish list) process a lot more effective for teachers. Whether it’s at back-to-school time or throughout the school year, teachers now have the simple mechanism they need to let parents know exactly what’s needed in the classroom.  The great news?  Our recent back-to-school parent survey showed that parents are increasingly willing and increasingly generous when it comes to supporting teachers.
Ninety-eight percent of the 1300 parents we surveyed reported that they’d be contributing to the classroom this Fall.  (Note: health and cleaning aids, like tissues and paper towels, were the #1 category, by far). And 50% of parents expect to contribute three or more times.
The good news is that, even as school budgets get leaner and leaner, teachers are far from alone when it comes to supplying the necessities for an effective classroom.
For schools, getting your school supply lists posted on is simple. And the same holds true for individual teachers hoping to share their Wish Lists.  Parents and teachers collaborating to provide the best for our kids and our classrooms?  That’s about the least crazy thing we’ve heard in quite a while.
Dyanne Griffin is the Program Director and social media guru for, the new website finally bringing all those various school supply lists and teacher wish lists under one roof. An active school mom herself (and former teacher/tutor), Dyanne knows well the craziness of back-to-school season.
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