Buying something new

Educators (and students) will finally get a chance to catch their breath this week as the mid-March Break moves to mid-April. I truly wish everyone a chance to kick back, stay in bed, relax, or whatever turns your crank. This is the week of weeks and even more important to refresh before beginning the final stretch of the year. If you’re in a position to get yourself vaccinated, it may be the very best thing that you can do for yourself.

I was thinking back to March breaks gone by and one of the things that came to mind was that it was actually a deadline for me. As a Business Education Director, one of my duties was to place orders for supplies for the upcoming school year. The Principal would make copies of the bulk order for each of the department heads, along with a budget, and we had to determine what we needed and get it back before the break. Presumably, the break was a chance to get the ordering done without distraction. I had the second biggest budget next to the Technology Department because we had a wide variety of course offerings and we also ran the practice office which provided a service for the rest of the school.

It was kind of exciting to have that size of budget until you realized that the bulk of it would go to buying paper. After all, education is run on paper.

As we all know, the paper remains but how it gets accessed as changed. We’ve come of age when we recognize that a photocopier with an ethernet port on it becomes the fastest bested printer ever. But with the opening/closing/half-opening, etc. I’m got to believe that there is a whack of paper sitting in storage that will go unused. It won’t go bad and if it isn’t used this school year, it will be just as useful in the next.

So, of course, it only follows that paper may not be the only product that has been purchased that sits unused and therefore not in need of replenishment. The amounts would undoubtedly vary from school to school.

It’s an interesting thing to ponder. Hopefully, budgets haven’t been hijacked and directed to other things. I wonder – if this is the case, could a progressive educational system use that money to buy something else instead? Something a little different and not normal.

If your department head happened to drop by indicating that they had a small bit of money available to buy something new that might reinvigorate your program, what would it be?

OTR Links 04/12/2021

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