Every year my teaching partner and I put “paint smocks” on the Kindergarten supply list. We explain that it doesn’t have to be anything fancy (Dad’s old work shirt will do.) I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that every year I have a few students that do not bring a paint smock to school. This is one supply that I’ve never been particularly aggressive about chasing down. We don’t paint very often at school and often when we do, it’s in small groups so those students that don’t have a smock can borrow a smock that’s not currently in use.
This year a parent saw that I was missing a few smocks while she was helping with a (very rare) whole-group painting project. She offered to send in a few old shirts from home. I gladly took her up on the offer (as I said, this is not something that usually bothers me, but I’m not going to refuse a solution to my problem!)
I was expecting this beloved mom to dig through and send some of her husband’s junkie t-shirts to school (which would have been just fine.) You can imagine my surprise and delight when these ADORABLE paint smocks were sent in to school a few days later.
Instead of sending her husband’s ratty old shirts, she dug through her closet and found much prettier t-shirts that were HER old clothes. She even embroidered them to be personalized with my name. So precious! I know embroidery is a hobby of hers and the t-shirts were not anything of great value to her, but they are among my most-prized classroom items.