For My Classroom

Submitted into Contest #230 in response to: Write a story in the form of a list.... view prompt



#1 = More crayons

#2 = More pencils too while you’re at it, they never return them

#3 = Actually a new sharpener too since the classroom one is still broken. Probably a non-electric one. Kids like Dom will probably sharpen their pencils when you’re in the middle of a lesson

#4 = A new little trash bin too. You have to remember to stay vigilant. Last thing you need is for Tommy to push Beth into the trash bin again and break the new one

#5 = Little chair for the timeout table. Current one still wobbly, as Dom and Tommy so pleasantly remind you almost every day. No other teacher has a spare chair

#6 = On that note, yeah, more rulers. You still owe Mrs. Harris a few when you borrowed hers. Wendy just wanted to be a drummer when she grows up, the rulers looked like drumsticks, and… Mrs. Harris wasn’t too happy

#7 = Some kind of toy instruments? At least Wendy wouldn’t break more rulers then. Mr. Denfeld took all the instruments with him when he got… just try to find something musical for the kids?

#8 = Okay, fine, probably chip in for P.E. equipment since Mr. Vin keeps asking for donations instead of making his own shopping list, and he still blames you for his “one good jump rope” snapping even though Julie said it was an accident and you had to put a band-aid on her bleeding knee and-

#9 = BAND-AIDS! What’s wrong with you, this should’ve been at the top of the list!!! The nurse runs out on a weekly basis so just keep them yourself

#10 = Tissues and towels and cleaning wipes. It’s almost flu season and you’re running low already, but Dom keeps sneezing without covering his mouth no matter how many times you talk to him about that, and Wendy got sick that one time you sat them next to each other. Then she came to school while sick and cried when she felt bad and you had to call her mom to come pick her up but it went to voicemail and the nurse said that sometimes parents just drop them off on us like it’s our responsibility… but they are our responsibility

#11 = Blankets when it gets cold. Tommy doesn’t come in wearing a jacket and it’s the end of October already. Wendy has been wearing the same sweater this whole time. Room gets cold too. Maybe some blankets with dinosaurs and some with unicorns, or just get like spaceships and stars, pretty gender neutral. You don’t care but the kids are still at that age where the colors matter. Maybe think of a lesson about how it’s okay for boys to use pink blankets, etc.?

#12 = Candy, oh God, candy, you were about to forget candy with Halloween around the corner. And you know that Dom said he couldn’t go trick-or-treating because his parents said he lives in a bad neighborhood, and then Tommy said his parents never buy him a costume, so you gotta do something for them in the classroom

#13 = Construction paper and safety scissors. Like, maybe thirty safety scissors. Then they can make masks to wear for Halloween since not everyone will have a costume.

#14 = More crayons. Even more because it’s at the top of the list already but you forgot that you borrowed some from Mrs. Harris in the beginning of the school year because you just assumed that the classroom came with some already, and then she scolded you and said “just because this is your first year as a teacher doesn’t mean you get a free pass on making mistakes”

#15 = Sympathy card? Because Mrs. Harris keeps on coming to you again and again saying “we have to send Mr. Denfeld something. That man wasted two decades of his life teaching kids how to shake maracas or whatever in music class just to get fired like that-“ but you didn’t actually know him that well, how could you since you just started, and every staff meeting so far Mr. Vin keeps on saying “it’s all about solidarity” but he’s got the easiest job as a P.E. teacher and you can see him from the window just sitting there, not even watching the kids. And they still expect you to give more and more of yourself to helping them when they don’t give an ounce of attention to their own kids and as ashamed as you are to admit it, you’re counting the days until the budget cuts lead to P.E. getting cancelled just like music was this year and art was last year, before you could even show up to realize the whole school was devoid of crayons and construction paper and glue and-

#16 = Glue. Whatever is the safest to eat in case they do which of course they will. And then the parents blame you. Just like Julie’s mom did when she came home with a bloody knee even though that wasn’t even in your classroom.

#17 = Books. A wide variety would be nice. Wendy likes music, Dom likes race cars, Tommy likes robots, Beth likes gems and rainbows, Julie likes… she talks about her brother and father a lot. How they moved away from her and her mom. You’ll need… something about divorce for kids? It has to exist. Maybe a book like that wasn’t there for you as a kid even though it would’ve been nice, but Julie deserves something like that

#18 = Cupcakes. For birthdays. Because the kids deserve that. Especially Tommy. Even though he gets sent to timeout a lot, you have to remember how it was the very beginning of the year, and it was his birthday, and you asked Mrs. Harris if you were supposed to do something and she said “the parents will bring something in” and you trusted that and it didn’t happen. And he cried. And that was the day he pushed Beth into the trash bin because he was upset and you didn’t know what to do and you… you sent him to a timeout because of course he hurt a kid but he cried the whole time with his head down and now he still comes to school without a jacket and you don’t know what to do anymore for these kids

#19 = Is there any way you could rearrange your classroom every Friday or something to have them sit in a circle in the middle of the room? Maybe get a soft rug for everyone to sit on. And then everyone just talks. Even you. About what you learned this week, about funny things you saw, about what you want to do on the weekend or when we all grow up. About things that scare us, make us mad, make us sad. The kids could use a time just for talking. Because a lot of days, there’s a lot of bad things going on. More than the good. And you know it. But you gotta do something.

#20 = Even though you went over budget probably within the first handful of items, just find something. Anything. Just a thing to let the kids know that at the end of the day, you love them

December 22, 2023 19:01

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Samiya H.
01:27 Jan 01, 2024

As a fellow teacher, you nailed everything on the head! As demanding or challenging the job may be, the kids make it worth it and at the end of the day, you can't help but love them!


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Hannah Lynn
12:32 Dec 31, 2023

A thoughtful list for the little ones!


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Paulette Lundy
17:27 Dec 30, 2023

What a great story. You packed a lot of good stuff in that list! Good job


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Rabab Zaidi
13:54 Dec 30, 2023

Really innovative. Loved it.


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Mary Bendickson
07:41 Dec 23, 2023

Teachers. God bless them.


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Miriam Culy
22:15 Jan 03, 2024

Wow - loved this, extremely well written!


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Karla Garcia
21:46 Jan 03, 2024

A good balance of lighthearted yet deep thoughts in a simple list of items. Many people don't realize the thought that goes into being a teacher, beyond the curriculum. Very well written


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Alexis Araneta
11:03 Dec 31, 2023

Oh my ! This had me tearing up. The details are just impeccable. Thank you for sharing this !


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Addie Cox
18:58 Apr 18, 2024

I love this story so much! It really shows just how hard it is to care for people, especially people who might not care or notice in return. I especially love how the kids weren’t just misbehaving for the heck of it but had real life problems going on. Great story!


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21:41 Jan 04, 2024

I'm a teacher and sadly, we do have to buy a lot of our supplies ourselves. Often times, my shopping list comes with a play by play of what my students are dealing with. Nice job.


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Korinne H.
21:40 Jan 04, 2024

This made me tear up. A beautiful example of a GOOD teacher.


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