Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Binder Costs What?!?!?

I know that I have been blogging a lot about binders lately. However, it's only appropriate since I am trying to organize all of my papers for the beginning of the year.  Smart organization in the beginning, saves time, energy, and frustration later.  Do it right the first time......that's my motto.

When I walk into Staples to buy a new binder, I feel like I'm in teacher heaven!  The entire back wall of Staples is filled from floor to ceiling with colorful, interesting, and organized binders.  It's like a dream.

Today I went to Staples to purchase a new binder to match the color scheme of my assessment binder.  I know, it may be a bit extreme, but it's what I do.  It's what helps me sleep at night.  I stood in the middle of Staples staring at this huge wall of color.  Staring....staring....staring......and my mind started to wonder.  I started thinking about all the binders I could purchase and what they could be used for.  I could get one for student papers, another one for home organization, and what about a purple one for professional development resources.  I started pulling binders off the shelves.  Then I froze.  I was paralyzed, eyes staring blankly, mouth hanging wide open. Panic started to fill my entire body.

These are the next couple of thoughts I had during this moment.
  • "You want me to pay what?"  
  • "$10 for a plastic 2 inch binder?"
  • "This binder better perform magic for $10."
While I was having these thoughts, two women who were mothers were having these same thoughts.  Except, their thoughts were out loud.  The first mother had her 10-year old son with her.  Poor kid. He wanted the fancy blue binder.  She said, "I'm not buying you a $10 binder."  The second mother was looking over a blue brochure trying to identify which binders her son, who was not with her, would need and in what colors.  I'm the person who talks to anyone in a store.  I've had numerous conversations with the grocery store checkout lady about how great greek yogurt is.  Well, when I heard these two women making comments, I couldn't help myself.  First I made the "I know, I can't believe how ridiculously overpriced these binders are" comment to the first mother.  With the second mother, we had a conversation about her blue brochure.  She showed it to me. Inside was a list of all the materials her son would need to start the school year.  He would need four different binders, but not just any binders.  He needed a blue binder, an orange binder, a purple binder, and a red binder.  If those colors could not be purchased than a white binder could be substituted.  She had already ran to Wal-mart and purchased the blue and purple binder.  She couldn't find the other colors, so she stopped at Staples.  She found all the colors she needed, but the problem came when she had to decide what size binder.  See, the school did not specify the size....just the color.  I couldn't help myself and told her I was a teacher and I though the brochure was a little much.  I mean, a binder is a binder.  If you want the binders to match the color you assigned to the subject, place a piece of colored duct tape on it.  That works just as well and is less expensive. She was so stressed. There were so many options.  How could she decide what the teacher wanted.  Note to self: As a teacher, always put yourself in the parents shoes!

Anyway, I felt bad that I couldn't help this mother.  Have you ever realized how many binders there are?  Check it out some time.  There are Durable View, Better View, Economy View, Simply View, and Heavy Duty View binders.  There are EZ-turn, D-Ring, Round Ring, EZD Ring, and Slant-D binders.  There are binders classified by their durability such as Light Use, Frequent Use, and Max Performance.  There are Eco-Conscious and Recycled binders.  There are .5 inch, 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 5 inch binders.  Every one of those binders are offered in numerous colors. You can imagine the panic in the mother who found an orange binder in just about every one of the choices listed above.  

I went with the 2-inch Heavy Duty, EZD-Ring Binder in Periwinkle.  $10.99 later, I was a happy teacher ready to put together my assessment binder.  See pictures below.  You can download the binder pages at my TPT store.

Assessment Binder Cover Page

Assessment Binder Spine Labels and Divider Labels

Happy teaching and good luck on your search for a great binder!