What are the must-have supplies all teachers need? Here’s a list of what teachers need most in the classroom.
Supplies That Classroom Teachers Need Most
If you are reading this article, you fall into one of two categories.
1) You are a teacher who needs to know what to stock in your classroom.
2) You are an angel who is looking to help out your student’s teacher by purchasing some much-needed supplies.
If you are in category 2, first of all, thank you. Thank you for helping equip your teacher with the supplies he/she needs to do the job.
You can help by purchasing consumable items that teachers always need. These are marked with an asterisk (*) and make ideal contributions to teachers.
If you are a teacher reading this article, you will likely need most of the items on this list.
If you have younger students, you will need more craft supplies than teachers of older students.
This article contains affiliate links to things that you might like.
List of Supplies That Teachers Need Most
For some items, brands don’t matter. But Crayola really is the best when it comes to coloring supplies.
If you want to spare yourself hours of scrubbing markers off desks (because this inevitably happens), buy washable markers.
Sharpies in Colors
From labeling items to making posters and anchor charts, colored Sharpies are your go-to writing utensil. You will need an assortment of colors.
Dry Erase Markers*
If you have a whiteboard, you cannot have too many dry-erase markers.
Stock up in the fall when these are on sale! My tip: don’t use the red. It is harder to erase than the other colors.
Purchase the chisel tip for your board.
If you plan to have your students use their own whiteboards, you can save serious money by going to a local home improvement store.
Ask for “shower board” to be cut down to size.
Tell the store that you are a teacher, and they may make the cuts for free.
Even if they don’t, it’s still a huge savings compared to purchasing individual whiteboards.
All pencils are not created equal. Cheap ones break!
Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are far and away the sturdiest brand and last the longest.
Save valuable time by purchasing the pre-sharpened pack.
Manual Pencil Sharpener
Kids love an electric pencil sharpener. They will keep that thing buzzing all day.
This is why I prefer a manual pencil sharpener.
It is sturdy, gets the job done, and costs less.
Just do yourself a favor and put the trash can directly beneath the sharpener to catch the shavings.
If you are a preschool or elementary teacher, you cannot have too many glue sticks.
I love Elmer’s Disappearing Purple Glue Sticks, so kids can see exactly where they have applied the glue.
Storage Bins, Shelves, Tubs, Gallon-sized Baggies
Being a teacher will make you want to buy stock in the Container Store.
You cannot have enough storage solutions.
I love gallon-sized baggies and clear plastic bins.
Then you can see what is inside without having to open the bin.
Colored Duct Tape
Duct tape has a million uses, and many of those apply to the classroom.
You can label bins, border your anchor charts, and even use tape in crafts.
Buy the colored duct tape; it’s way more fun.
Forget chart paper. That stuff costs a million dollars, and it does not last.
Make your anchor charts out of poster board.
You can use bright colors to make the charts more appealing.
The best part? They last year after year.
Colored Card Stock*
I love colored cardstock. You can stick it in the printer to make file folder games and lap book supplies.
You can make task cards and personalized anchor charts.
I prefer pastel cardstock. It’s still colorful, but you can still clearly see black lettering on it.
If you do crafts, you cannot have enough construction paper.
In elementary school, art = construction paper.
Index cards are incredibly versatile. You can make flashcards, cue cards, and task cards with these.
Please, oh please, buy your teacher some Kleenex! You can go through a box a day during cold and flu season.
Wipes keep surfaces free from germs (and, let’s face it, kids are germ factories).
You need hand sanitizer as another tool in your germ-fighting arsenal.
Keep the bottle on your desk (since it has alcohol in it).
I prefer the clear, lightly scented variety, so it is not overly enticing to young kids.
As a teacher, you will need to stick things to your walls.
You then need a way to get rid of the sticky residue. Invest in a bottle of Goo Gone.
Stapler and Staple Remover
You will need to staple papers all the time.
Buy a stapler (actually buy a three-pack!) and label each stapler.
These guys have a way of wandering off.
This multipack also comes with a staple remover, another must-have.
You will want to keep a pair of scissors on your desk (and label them!), but you will also want a spare pair that you keep in a drawer.
Trust me. Scissors also seem to disappear.
I am all for saving money, but with crayons, you get what you pay for.
Spend the extra cents and buy Crayola.
They are must less likely to snap in half, and they write in smoother, bolder strokes.
Velcro Strips, Command Strips, or Poster Putty
You need a way to hang posters on walls.
Check out your wall type and buy the adhesive that works best.
I love poster putty, but you can only use it once.
If you have a magnetic whiteboard, you will love having magnetic clips.
They are the easiest way to hang a poster.
Forget paper clips. They are worthless. You need a way to clip lots of paper. Use binder clips!
You need a way to send a note home to parents. These colored memo pads fit the bill without breaking the bank.
If you are a parent looking for a great teacher gift, you can’t lose with personalized stationery.
These little notes are a way for you to download your brain.
I stick them in my planner, on my calendar, and on student papers.
I use them as bookmarks and ways to take notes in books.
As a teacher, you will find a hundred uses for sticky notes.
Clipboards allow students to do their work in other locations besides their desks.
This is an all-important item; you want a planner that works for you.
Yes, your planner likely has a calendar inside. Nevertheless, you want one on your desk!
I like the large desk calendars so I can put sticky notes on them.
If you grade a lot of homework, quizzes, and tests, this EZ grader will save you time.
Yes, it’s old-fashioned, but this thing is tried and true.
Stickers make great rewards and incentives.
Treasure Bin Items*
Small toys and treats motivate students to do their best.
Too often, students come to school without breakfast. They simply can’t focus on learning when they are hungry.
Have some individually-wrapped snacks on hand (like Rice Krispie Treats) for situations such as these.
Hang a wall clock directly opposite the one already in your classroom. That way everyone knows what time it is.
Cozy Home Decor
You will be amazed at what a little cozy furniture and lighting can do.
Something Special for Your Desk
Make your desk your haven. Add something special that you love: a plant, a photo, or a figurine.
What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom
When you ask “What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom,” you’ll get a long list. That is because educating young minds takes a lot of resources!
If you are a teacher, ask for help. Make a wishlist. Send your parents a link to this article.
Highlight the remaining items on Meet the Teacher Night.
If you still fall short, ask around.
If you are a new teacher, perhaps veteran teachers will share some of their supplies with you. Check out dollar stores and garage sales.
These supplies will help you do your job, but the most important classroom resource is YOU!