What to Do if your Classroom Supplies Have Gone Walking Over the Summer

Teachers steal?!? Yes they do – unfortunately, every August when teachers go back to their classrooms to set up for September, supplies are missing. The teacher chair, the stapler, the whole new order from the catalogue – have all gone missing. Why would someone take the hand held dustpan but not the hand held brush that goes with it? So – here are some tips to help!

  1. As soon as you are allowed back to the school in August, go. Some schools allow teachers to come any time, in which case, I recommend 2 weeks before school starts. Other schools only allow teachers to come back 1 week before school starts – in which case, show up at 8 am on the Monday!
  2. Check your classroom for missing items and ask the caretaker (and perhaps the administration) if they have moved them somewhere – this is sometimes the case. If not, walk around the school looking for the items – in the stairwells, in other classrooms, in the change rooms. If you find your items, take them! Do not feel bad about this!
  3. If you cannot find the items, let everyone know you are looking for them – the caretaker, administration and other teachers. Sometimes people mysteriously “find” things you are looking for when they realize you have noticed it’s gone.
  4. If you never find your items, ask the administration to replace them without it coming out of your classroom budget. They may say no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
  5. Of course, the main way to combat this is to lock up as much as possible in June. Lock your staples, electric pencil sharpeners and protractors in the cupboards that lock in your room. If there is no cupboard that locks, ask the administration and caretaker to fix that. I know, this sounds crazy but it is expensive to replace so much every year!
  6. Label everything else. Put the labels where everyone can see them and then hide a label where people won’t think to look – that way even if they take the obvious label off, you can still prove that the teacher chair belongs in your room!

It is so sad that teaching has come to this. The truth is that there simply isn’t enough money in education for all teachers to have enough supplies. That is why people take hole punchers, compasses, fans and paper. If everyone had their own filing cabinet and metre stick, this wouldn’t happen.


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