When do you do most of your school supply shopping?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
When do you do most of your school supply shopping?

View Results

The results of this poll shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Teachers do most of their school supply shopping between the months of July and September. More than three quarters of respondents chose these months and certainly most students and parents would choose the same.

Teachers, students and parents all make an effort to start the new school year prepared. Coming to class in September with no paper, pens or pencils would be extremely ineffective. It's hard to get your work done with no supplies. While students need basic supplies to complete their work, teachers need supplies to present their work. Besides the ordinary pens and pencils, teachers need classroom supplies, and these may be anything from flashcards or stickers to materials for science experiments.

Many teachers, who have been instructing the same grade for a number of years, have their favourite projects and assignments which they carry over from year to year. Buying the supplies for these annual projects ahead of time saves the teacher time and effort during the busy school year. Having things at their fingertips is convenient and expedient.

The other factor to consider is retail timing. Prior to the start of any school year most stores bring in more school supplies and often have them on sale as well. Some items are more easily found in August than at any other time of the year. If teachers know there is something they will need in January but it may be difficult to find, buying it months ahead makes sense. Trying to get the most for their money makes good financial sense and in a climate where classroom budgets are being cutback, getting more for less is smart.

There is often an excitement about back-to-school shopping. In all fairness, much of the excitement is on the side of the parents, but the school supply section of the store is usually buzzing with activity. The school supply market is not immune from trends and fads and it is always interesting to see what new item is available. How many of us would have liked a zippered binder when we were students?

So enjoy your summer break and we'll meet in the binder aisle sometime in the summer.