Good Question: Why Do Teachers Ask For Such Specific Brands?

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With all the crayons, glue sticks and notebooks – parents have incredibly detailed school supply lists to navigate towards the end of summer.

Parents are expected to drop $2.6 billion on all those folders and colored pencils.

This got Tarsia in Eagan asking this good question: Why do teachers ask for such specific brands?

Leo and Nicholas Benson are on a school supply mission. Their list, like most, asks for Crayola colored pencils, which cost $2 more than the generic brand.

When asked about how he will make his brand selection, Leo is clear.

“Probably the cheapest,” he said.

But teachers ask for Ticonderoga pencils, Fiskars scissors, and Elmers glue among many others.

Cheryl Lamers teaches 4th grade in Circle Pines, and she says certain brand names, like Crayola, mean higher quality.

“Colors are more vivid, they’re smoother, they last longer,” Lamers said. “They’re struggling with a waxy crayon, it’s going to chip and fall apart. It’s going to be frustrating.”

When some students were given the Crayola/generic crayon test, however, one girl quickly made her choice.

“I like the cheaper one,” she said.

So, do teachers shame those students who go rogue from the supply list?

“No humiliation,” Lamers said.

Some schools pool supplies so they need to be the same brand. But for most it’s just about quality.

Cheap crayons and pencils break faster.

“Sometimes you get what you pay for,” she said.

A lot of schools are now asking for disinfectant wipes, and most ask for Clorox.

In fact, schools have to keep documentation of chemicals they use in their rooms, so it’s easier to have the ingredients on file for just one brand.

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