Spring allergies are upon us; therefore, your kids will have the sniffles and sneezes galore. This will require facial tissue of some kind. Some teachers offer extra credit for students who bring in boxes of tissue. To me, that procedure is like buying a grade; however, purchasing boxes of facial tissue for my classroom/office with my own money will quickly break my bank. So, here is a different alternative: toilet tissue from the custodians’ closet. It’s free, it’s in abundance, and there are all kinds of ways you can ‘dress it up’ so that it isn’t just a roll of toilet paper.
Step one: Go to your local craft store and pick out a cardboard box of any shape that is big enough to hold a roll of toilet tissue. Step two: Cover the box and the lid (separately) with your favorite contact paper. Step three: Use a pocket knife (AT HOME, NOT WHERE YOU SEE YOUR KIDS!) to cut out a hole in the middle of the lid. Step four: Take the roll of toilet tissue and work the cardboard center out of the middle; this gives you one continuous stream of tissue. It also gives you a laugh when the kids aren’t ready for it--they pull, and the tissue just keeps coming out without end. (Sometimes, being a teen mentor requires cheap humor….)
When (not if) kiddos complain about having to use toilet tissue as opposed to having regular facial tissue, tell them they are more than welcome to provide the environment with the kind of tissue they would prefer at their own expense. (And say it with a smile.) However, your kids will go through a regular box of facial tissue in two days, while a roll of your school’s (business’) toilet tissue will last for weeks.
Even if you have some kiddos who bring in boxes of facial tissue, this toilet-tissue idea is still a great back-up to have for emergencies or once the facial-tissue boxes are depleted. It also helps to have tissue in a variety of places in your area so if a kiddo feels the need for discretion, he/she can use the tissue in the back of the room, regardless of what its source.
Ultimately, the time is now to get your tissue supply ready for all of the spring maladies that require it. Using creativity to set up an attractive and fun way to disperse toilet tissue can, at the least, amuse your kids in the midst of dealing with their stuffy and runny noses. Believe it or not, that silliness in dealing with tissue can make a teenager laugh and then help to forge a positive relationship with you. Crazy? Possibly, but I’ve seen it happen.
P.S.: I have to give credit to Claudia Swisher (one of the Goddesses of Teaching) for helping me with this idea. Grace and Peace!