While some parents may think the fancier or more playful the product the better, one mom and first grade teacher has a PSA for parents.
Katie Alburger of Virginia shared a video on TikTok on July 9 while shopping for some supplies for her own son, urging parents to keep it simple.
“I was seeing some things that were very eye opening and that would not be a teacher’s best friend in the classroom,” she told “Good Morning America.” “I just think that it’s important for parents to take into consideration what they are buying.”
In the video, Alburger pulls items from the aisles and points out why keeping it simple is the way to go.
“As a teacher, I am here to tell you the more basic you go, the more your child’s teacher will appreciate it,” she says in the video, urging parents to skip cutesy items like “bracelet rulers” and “scented” versions of supplies in favor of the classic, functional standbys.
“Almost every school supply list is going to have glue sticks. We don’t need colored, scented glue sticks, because for 40 more cents you can get 12 of regular glue sticks, and chances are your child’s teacher does community supplies [or supplies for the whole classroom], which means that would come in handy to have 12 — more than four,” she continues.
When it comes to pencil boxes, Alburger says in the video to avoid anything that can be used as a toy.
“A fidget pencil box is going to become a toy and your teacher’s worst enemy, so please don’t do that to them,” she says.
Instead, she suggests kids have fun with personalization and characters on their backpacks and lunch boxes.
Speaking with “GMA,” Alburger advised parents to work with their child’s teacher and district to ensure they’re aware of their child’s needs if they require special accommodations — and keep the fidget tools separate from school supplies. “Typically, schools will provide any kind of sensory items that the child may need,” she said.
Another option, she said, is to bring the sensory tool into the classroom, so your child’s teacher knows they need one. “The teacher will store them in a spot that they or the child can access at any time,” Alburger said.
Alburger also told “GMA” she had one more essential tip that wasn’t included in the video.
“My main tip would be to follow their district’s list as close as possible,” she said. “Those lists are typically generated from the teachers themselves.”
Alburger’s video has since sparked over 1,400 comments and garnered more than 266,000 views, with many parents chiming in to show their appreciation for the tips.
One commenter wrote, “I appreciate you for letting us parents know😊 I wouldn’t want to send my child to school with distractions and take way from her learning time.”
Another wrote, “WE LOVE TEACHERS. Y’all are watching my kid all day and it only costs me some tissues and glue sticks for everyone? You can have whatever you want.”
Other teachers and former educators also showed their appreciation for the video.
“As a teacher, THANK YOU for this video!! Every parent needs to hear this,” one TikTok user wrote.
“I always just send back the fancy items and tell them to use it at home 😅. I cannot do the scented glue. They will be licking it,” another teacher wrote.