Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Mayhem: Supply Order Shuffle

One thing I am completely blessed by is the budget that we are granted here in our district for visual arts. I teach over 700, yes I said SEVEN HUNDRED STUDENTS, all year so every penny is stretched and spent wisely.  I remember one of my Art Ed. courses in college where we had to build a supply closet with only 1,000 dollars and with the idea that in our imaginary first job art room we had only tables, chairs, and a kiln.  What would we buy with our budget? Honestly it didn't help prepare me much and so for the past 5 years I've definitely learned a lot about placing orders, I know it varies by district and state, but here are some tips:

1. Ask for a quote from your vendor. 
-It could be Blick, or Sax or [insert most affordable and good quality supply vendor] you never know if your district gets a little bit of a discount when you order a certain $$$ of supplies.

2. Make a copy of your quote for your records.
-Before you hand over your quote or supply order to someone, make a copy. This helps in two ways: a. you can keep track of the date of order and the amount you spend
b. you can keep record of the supplies you order so you don't double up and find yourself with 25 extra red watercolor ovals when you really need green, trust me on this I KNOW.

3. Be best friends for the person who has to submit your quote for a Purchase Order.
-Always be pleasant and thankful when handing over your stuff, if they like you it will probably be filled faster and you have less to worry over. It also doesn't hurt to occasionally give thank you cards and bring them candy, dough nuts, or cute teachery things like an apple.

4. Order ahead of time.
-don't expect to get supplies for a project you need to start tomorrow, it doesn't work like that. PLAN AHEAD.

Here are a few things that I just MUST have every year and some other things that I splurge on if I have some wiggle room in my budget.

Staples for me:
1. Markers
2. Pencils/Colored Pencils
3. Paper
4. Paint
5. Glue
6. Sharpies

1. Air dry clay
2. Organization tools like boxes for watercolors or supplies on the tables
3. Smart Fab, just bought some of this for next year, we'll see how it turns out.
4. Sharpies, yes this is listed twice, you can never have enough!
5. Funky colored crayons or paint
6. Crayola Twistables SAD NOTE: I bought some last year(so we could try them out this year) before our school was reconstructed...and they've been lost in a box somewhere or stolen, what a waste :(

I love the smell of fresh supplies in the morning...
The only problem is getting it all put away before
the kids come in and see!
I'd like to know what are some supply staples that you buy every year, and what are some that you only buy if you have some extra money left over?


  1. 1350. One thousand three hundred and fifty students. Per week. Four schools. Extra money? Leftover money? What money?

    1. Okay I have no room to talk! 1350 is a lot of students! How do you manage them all between the different schools?