This Teacher Just Schooled Us All With a Lesson About Buying School Supplies

You're going to want to check yourself before you start complaining about those 500 glue sticks you just threw in your cart.

My daughter is starting high school next week and I just received her school supply list via email last night. It's four pages long. And yes, they are still asking for glue sticks.

I have always loved the excitement of back-to-school shopping, but I am definitely one of those moms who complains about having to buy all the crap as I drag myself through the aisles of the local Target with my two kids in tow.

Or at least I was, until I read this viral Facebook message from a math teacher in Iowa who goes by Leland Michael. He shared his experience of two very different responses he heard while he was filling up his shopping cart with classroom supplies for the year—and his post was a pretty big eye opener:

"I was feeling pretty jaded this morning as two different sets of parents at Walmart stopped me in the school supplies aisle to complain about how much they had to get their kids this year," he wrote.

Totally don't blame them. I mean, we have all SO been there! But when Leland was checking out, things took a very different turn.

"You are a teacher right?" the man in front of him began. "I just want to thank you for everything you do. I see your cart is full with supplies, and I just wanted to help out as much as I can." Then he handed Leland a $25 dollar Walmart gift card, shook his hand, and walked away with his smiling daughter.

If that's not #GoalsAF I don't know what is. But while Leland was extremely moved by the man's generosity, he goes on to explain that the part that stayed with him was the difference in the message the smiling little girl had just heard from her dad, compared to the one the kids of the parents who had been complaining received from theirs earlier.

"The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: 'School is not important enough to spend money on, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgment, and learning does not require investment,'" he wrote. "The kid whose dad handed me the gift card heard, 'School is important enough that we should give more than required to make sure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us giving it everything we have.'"

Just...wow. Perspective changes everything, doesn't it? It's an important reminder that attitude is paramount, and that our kids are watching and learning from us 24/7. Which is why I plan to buy my kids' school supplies with a smile this year—even if I still can't figure out why a ninth-grader needs a glue stick for Social Studies.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.

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