Keep it simple: First grade teacher warns parents against 'distracting' school supplies

“As a teacher, I’m here to tell you that the more basic you go, the more your teacher will appreciate it,” she said.

school supplies, katie alburger, back to school

A teacher explains why its better to get the basic, wooden ruler.

It’s that time again when even though it feels like summer is just kicking into full swing, the back-to-school section pops up at your local Target. It’s a grim reminder that life will soon return to the stress of homework, shuttling kids to and from extra-curricular activities and the dreaded school drop-off line.

The good news is that first grade teacher and content creator Katie Alburger wants parents everywhere to know they don’t need to break the bank when shopping for school supplies. In fact, she says that teachers actually prefer it when parents purchase the standard supplies instead of going overboard with funky-scented markers and pencil boxes that do more than just hold Ticonderoga No. 2s.

Alburger drove the point home by filming her school supply video while walking through the aisles at Target.


PSA: when school supply shopping, pls pls pls get standard items! Save the fancy for home and they can use that for homework and free time🤪 (dont mind me walking all around target to record this.. it was so crowded and I get camera shy, thx) #teachersoftiktok #momsoftiktok #teacherlife #schoolshopping #schoolsupplies #teacherlife #targettok #targetmom

“As a teacher, I’m here to tell you that the more basic you go, the more your teacher will appreciate it,” she said before sharing some examples.

“For example, if your child’s school’s file list has a ruler, this is what they’re talking about,” she said while holding a basic, old-school wooden ruler. “Not a snap bracelet ruler that is going to end up hurting someone.”

“Almost every school’s file list is going to have glue sticks, right? We don’t need colored, scented glue sticks because for 40 more cents, you can get 12 of the regular glue sticks—and chances are your child’s teacher probably does community supplies, which means that would come in handy to have 12 more than four,” she explained.

She also warned against getting too creative with pencil boxes.

“OK, they need a basic pencil box,” she said. “It can have a character on it if they want to get a little bit more personalized, but a fidget pencil box is going to become a toy and your teacher’s worst enemy. So, please don’t do that to them. I completely understand that Pop Its are a fidget that some children need. They just don’t need it on their pencil box.”

"I appreciate you for letting us parents know. I wouldn’t want to send my child to school with distractions and take away from her learning time," Norma Jeronimo replied in the comments section.

The video comes at a time when many parents are stressed out over the cost of back-to-school supplies. In 2022, the average parent spent $661 per child on ensuring their child was equipped and dressed for the school year. But this year, parents are looking to spend an average of $597. They expect to spend less on clothes and tech and more on necessities like school supplies to compensate for the cost of living increases due to inflation.

The high cost of school supplies also shifts an even bigger burden to school teachers, who already have to spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies every year. Studies show that the average teacher expected to spend nearly $820 on their classrooms during the 2022-2023 school year, nearly double what they paid eight years ago.


Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

Keep ReadingShow less

Mom’s blistering rant on how men are responsible for all unwanted pregnancies is on the nose

“ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don't believe me? Let me walk you through it."

Mom has something to say... strongly say.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are a conservative group who aren't known for being vocal about sex.

But best selling author, blogger, and mother of six, Gabrielle Blair, has kicked that stereotype to the curb with a pointed thread on reducing unwanted pregnancies. And her sights are set directly at men.

Keep ReadingShow less

People kept telling me to watch 'Bluey.' I still was not prepared.

Some adults say it's healing their inner child, but there's something in the popular Australian kids' show for everyone.

"Bluey" is popular with all ages, despite being aimed at kids.

I have a confession to make. I'm 48 years old, my youngest child is in high school and I can't stop watching "Bluey."

For the uninitiated, "Bluey" is a kids' cartoon from Australia aimed at 5 to 7-year-olds. It's been nearly a decade since my household has seen that demographic, so when people kept telling me I should watch "Bluey," my reaction was basically, "Yeah, I've already done my kiddie show time, thankyouverymuch."

Then my almost-15-year-old started watching it just to see what the fuss was about. And as I started tuning in, I saw why people love it so much. I figured it was going to be a wholesome show with some good lessons for kids, and it is.

But it's also laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Keep ReadingShow less

She tattooed half her face and you'd never know it. Her skills are just that good.

This incredible medical tattoo technology is giving renewed hope to burn victims.

All images via the CBS/YouTube

Basma Hameed runs a tattoo shop, of sorts...

Meet Samira Omar.

The 17-year-old was the victim of a horrific bullying incident.

Keep ReadingShow less
Images via Alan Taylor/Flickr, used with permission.

Updating the kitchen.

Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books?

Books from when you were a kid?

Keep ReadingShow less

Voice recordings of people who were enslaved offer incredible first-person accounts of U.S. history

"The results of these digitally enhanced recordings are arresting, almost unbelievable. The idea of hearing the voices of actual slaves from the plantations of the Old South is as powerful—as startling, really—as if you could hear Abraham Lincoln or Robert E. Lee speak." - Ted Koppel

Library of Congress

When we think about the era of American slavery, many of us tend to think of it as the far distant past. While slavery doesn't exist as a formal institution today, there are people living who knew formerly enslaved black Americans first-hand. In the wide arc of history, the legal enslavement of people on U.S. soil is a recent occurrence—so recent, in fact, that we have voice recordings of interviews with people who lived it.

Keep ReadingShow less