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What Does Every New Teacher Need for the Classroom?

What Does Every New Teacher Need for the Classroom?

When you ask for help, educators will help. That is just how we roll. We recently asked a group of educators for help in creating a shopping list for new teachers, and our educators did not let us down.

Trends from these lists speak to comfort, storage, resources, and humor. There will be moments of pure joy in your professional life and moments of belly laughs. It is important to be able to see them. If you bring your sense of humor with you every morning, it will be easier to recognize these moments. If you have a working pen and notebook, it will be easier to capture them. If you have storage, then you can keep these notebooks full of stories close and accessible.

Here is a list of classroom must-haves according to teachers who have been there before!

  • An online wish list visible to the public

 – Winnie O’Leary

  • A calendar

Denise Handlon, High School Program Director

  • Contact information for peer teacher support
  • You own personal electric pencil sharpener
  • Icebreaker conversation starters per age group
  • A blank notebook and a favorite pen to record quotes and stories to be remembered (I so wish I had begun this from my first day)
  • Spare clothes for self
  • Spare clothes per age group for emergencies
  • Snack drawer for self
  • Snack drawer for hungry kiddos
  • Spare makeup bag

– Trish Fuss, Middle School Special Education

  • Another teacher poking their head in now and then to ask, “What can I do for you?”
  • Supplies for a calming/cozy corner

– Amy Collins, EdOptions Academy

  • Patience and grace

– Betsy Holland, Math Grades 6–12, EdOptions Academy

  • Storage/organization

–  Erica Boykin, Grades 6–12

  • Time

Shenandoah French, former elementary school teacher

  • Support and encouragement
  • Personal whiteboards
  • Many pencils
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Paper baskets
  • Paper cutter
  • Heavy-duty stapler

– Renee McKay, Grade 3

  • Books

–  Lesley De Paz, The Story Orchard

  • A sense of humor

–  Tiffany Wray Brinkley, EdOptions Academy

  • Printer with instant monthly ink subscription
  • Laminator with packets of laminating sheets
  • Magnetic building sets, interlocking plastic bricks, building blocks, etc.
  • Organizational plastic bins of several sizes
  • Electric pencil sharpener
  • Bookshelves

– Crystal McNeil Cathey, Grade 1

  • Poster for rules of the room
  • Courage and a strong stare
  • Pencils

– Linda Gaskins, English Grades 11–12

  • Collection bins for art and school supplies

–  Bridget Bengtson, Grades 6–8

  • Water bottle
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Emergency box of tissues
  • Ibuprofen
  • Insulated mug for hot beverages
  • Those magic erasers that take anything off the walls
  • Clear packing tape

– Beth Bwinka, Virtual Educator, Grades 9–12

If you are a new educator and these lists help, then excellent! However, if you are a new educator and all of this information this makes you nervous, that OK right too. Even those educators on this listing who have been teaching for 20 years have only had 20 first days of school. Give yourself some grace, which is sound advice that Lesley De Paz of The Story Orchard once gave me, and I keep it in my pocket for times when I get nervous. Welcome new teachers, you are standing on the cusp of being that helpful and inspirational person for someone else.

Looking for more tips to help kick off the school year? Check out our Ultimate Teachers’ Guide to Back-to-School Planning!

Interested in learning more about the Edmentum Educator Network? Get the details and join our community today!

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Winnie O'Leary

Winnie O’Leary has spent over 25 years in education, as a classroom teacher, school board member, a family advocate, special education teacher, curriculum writer and currently the Educator Initiatives Manager. Her experiences have allowed her to work with districts all over the country where she learns something new and exciting every day.