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10 School Supplies Every Teacher Needs

Monday, August 3, 2015 -- Scott Sterling

Yes, students need a lot of supplies in order to start the school year. But, what about you? Here are 10 supplies for your classroom that you may not have thought of yet but definitely don’t want to forget.

1. A really good pencil sharpener

The cheap metal pencil sharpeners mounted to your wall are notorious for breaking. Save yourself some trouble, and invest in a heavy-duty electric sharpener to keep on your desk. Whether or not you allow the kids to use it is up to you.

2. More wastebaskets

The amount of trash that ends up on your floor is directly related to how hard it is for students to get to the trashcan. Make it easy for you students, and save yourself some janitor duty. Get more wastebaskets than you need, and place them all around the room.

3. Heavy-duty stapler

Big packets of materials, like those handed out during the first week of school, are impossible to staple with a standard stapler. Invest in one of those you would find at a copy and print store, but keep it off limits to students.

4. Lots of assorted duct tape

Classrooms are no exception to the saying “Duct tape fixes everything”—it’s your most versatile classroom tool. It’s the best way to hang posters on rigid walls. It’s great at repairing textbooks. And it can always be used in creative student projects.

5. Spray bottles

Spray bottles are another versatile classroom tool. Get spray bottles to fill with dry-erase board cleaner, screen cleaner for electronics, nontoxic disinfectant (to spray down EVERYTHING), and plain water for small cleanups. You can even purchase a couple of extra spray bottles for fun paint projects.

6. Measuring tape

Have you ever tried centering a bulletin board design with a ruler or . . . a protractor? Make the experience easier; go ahead and pick up measuring tape to keep in the classroom.

7. Book tape

You still have textbooks around. The odds are that they’re a few (or more) years old. Spruce them up, and extend their shelf life (pun intended) with some book tape.

8. Duplicate notebooks

For notes that need to be sent home, pick up a carbon-copy notepad. This way, you can keep a paper trail of all communication by putting a copy of the note in the student’s file.

9. Desk lamp

Studies have shown that fluorescent lamps are horrible for our natural rhythms. Get a nice lamp for your desk, and shut off the lights occasionally (especially when you’re stuck in the classroom late for grading).

10. Substitute teacher folder

Unexpected absences happen. Buy a heavy-duty folder, and make it a comprehensive folder for substitutes. Include applicable materials to go along with a spare lesson plan, put a big label on it, and leave it in a conspicuous place.

Once you have this list covered, think about some classroom tech tools! Check out Edmentum’s compilation of 10 FREE digital resources for educators