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What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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What are the must-have supplies all teachers need? Here’s a list of what teachers need most in the classroom.

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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 your students need their own for seatwork, buy the fine tip (or even the ultra-fine tip).

Personalized Whiteboards

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

Pre-Sharpened Pencils*

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

Glue Sticks*

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.


You will find a million uses for a classroom timer. You can use the wind-up variety or a small digital timer.

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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.

Construction Paper*

If you do crafts, you cannot have enough construction paper.

In elementary school, art = construction paper.

Index Cards*

Index cards are incredibly versatile. You can make flashcards, cue cards, and task cards with these.

I like to have both white and colored versions.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom


Please, oh please, buy your teacher some Kleenex! You can go through a box a day during cold and flu season.

Antibacterial Wipes*

Wipes keep surfaces free from germs (and, let’s face it, kids are germ factories).

Hand Sanitizer*

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

Goo Gone

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

Spare Scissors

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

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.

Magnetic Clips

If you have a magnetic whiteboard, you will love having magnetic clips.

They are the easiest way to hang a poster.

Binder Clips*

Forget paper clips. They are worthless. You need a way to clip lots of paper. Use binder clips!

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom


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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom


Clipboards allow students to do their work in other locations besides their desks.

Teacher Planner

This is an all-important item; you want a planner that works for you.

Desk Calendar

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.

EZ Grader

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom


Stickers make great rewards and incentives.

Treasure Bin Items*

Small toys and treats motivate students to do their best.

I also love desk pets and scratch-offs for this purpose.

Individually-Wrapped Snacks*

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.

What Teachers Need Most in the Classroom

Extra Clock

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.

Add some soft seating for reading, a lamp, and a rug to a corner of your room.

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

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.

Get creative.

These supplies will help you do your job, but the most important classroom resource is YOU!

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