23+ Essential Teacher Supplies You’ll Be Glad You Had

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 05/19/23 •  Teaching Tools

We get it, teaching is a challenging profession. It requires patience, creativity, and flexibility and often times spending a limited budget on supplies. It can sometimes feel like you’re juggling multiple tasks and trying to keep up with their students’ needs. Wanting to balance the fine line between both work, students and parents expectations.

One thing that will make life a little easier is having the right tools and supplies on hand. From teaching online, to teaching abroad or in a classroom there are quite a few helpful supplies you’ll be glad you had in a pinch.

Why is this important in the first place?

When teachers have enough supplies, they can create a better learning environment. This helps students to participate in activities, finish assignments, and take part in discussions since they have the required materials.

Having enough supplies is also important for teachers to manage their classrooms effectively. They can use various techniques like behavior charts, reward systems, and organizational tools to create routines and ensure their classrooms are well-managed.

So let’s get to Teach and GO’s list of essential teacher supplies:

Laptop (or tablet) for teaching

As the education system continues to evolve, so do the tools used for digital teaching and resources. One of the most popular choices in today’s digital age is the computer or tablet. These devices offer numerous benefits, including the ability to access a wide range of digital resources, create and share interactive lesson plans, and provide students with real-time feedback.

With features like voice commands and touch screens, computers and tablets offer a more engaging and interactive experience for students than traditional teaching methods. It’s also more useful for you as the teacher to use in the classroom or when working from your home office leading a Zoom class.

Whether it be in a traditional classroom setting or through remote learning, the use of computers and tablets in online and offline teaching is an effective way to enhance the learning experience and keep students engaged.

If you’ve not yet done so, here are our constantly updated guides on the best laptops for teaching as well as review of different tablets we’ve used for things like Gimkit.

Whiteboard markers

Whiteboard markers are a teacher’s best friend in the classroom an the most annoying thing to run out of. These writing tools provide a convenient way for instructors to jot down notes or draw visual aids during their lessons. With a vast array of colors to choose from, whiteboard markers can be used to highlight critical points in a presentation or to color-code different topics.

The markers’ large and vibrant ink output ensures that even students in the back of the classroom can easily see what’s being written. Additionally, whiteboard markers are easily erasable, allowing instructors to quickly make necessary edits or to start afresh should they need to. Overall, these writing tools are essential for any teacher who wants to create an engaging and informative learning environment.

*Also checkou our guide on some great whiteboards for class.

Dry erase boards

Dry-erase boards are a versatile and essential tool for any classroom. Not only can they display important information, such as schedules and deadlines, but they also serve as a canvas for creating interactive activities that engage students. From math problems to word games, the possibilities are endless with a dry-erase board.

Plus, they are convenient and easy to use – simply write with a dry-erase marker and wipe away when finished. With a dry-erase board, you’ll be able to elevate your classroom and create a collaborative learning environment that fosters innovation and creativity.

Electric pencil sharpener

An electric pencil sharpener can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your pencils sharp. Not only does it save you valuable time, but it also saves you from the hassle of dealing with dull pencils that make writing or drawing a frustrating experience. With an electric pencil sharpener, the process of sharpening your pencils becomes simple and effortless.

All you need to do is insert your pencil and let the sharpener do the rest. With different settings for pencil sizes and sharpening angles, an electric pencil sharpener ensures a consistently sharp point every time. Whether you’re a student, artist, or just need to keep your pencils sharp for daily tasks, an electric pencil sharpener can be the perfect solution to your needs.

In fact, we wrote a whole buying guide on the overall best pencil sharpeners you can checkout covering everything from pencils, crayons and drawing utensils.

Paper clips and clamps

When it comes to keeping your students homework organized, none can deny the importance of paper clips and thicker paper clamps. You’ll typically want to buy more than you expect too because we find ourselves always not having enough. Paper clips are fine if you have 20 or so students, but if you have multiple sheets stapled together, that will become a thick tower where you’ll need a proper paper clamp.

Scissors

You’ll want to have a pair of your own “teacher scissors” you keep stowed away in your teacher desk. You’ll also want to have a nice selection of scissors for your students. Don’t forget your left handed students too!

Whiteboard erasers

These erasers are designed to effectively and efficiently clean dry-erase marker ink from your board. Not only do they save you time and effort, but they also extend the life of your whiteboard by preventing ink residue from building up and soaking into the board long term.

We suggest buying new erasers at the start of every school year. Things don’t last forever and white board erasers are no exception.

Band-aids / first aid kit

Kids have recess and tend to get hurt sometimes, hey it happens. They also can make mistakes in the classroom with sharp objects and hurt themselves or a friend accidentally. While there is a school nurse to rely on, you should have some simple band-aids or a first aid kit.

As a teacher, it’s important to be prepared for any emergency that may arise in the classroom. One way to do this is by having a first aid kit readily available. A well-stocked first aid kit can help you quickly respond to minor injuries and medical issues, potentially preventing more serious complications.

Some essentials to include in your classroom first aid kit are: band-aids, disinfectant wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, tweezers, and non-latex gloves. Also check your kit every semester to make sure nothing has expired and you’re properly stocked.

Honey drops

If you’re not using a voice amplifer in class, you’ll inevitably get tired from speaking loudly. We found these honey drops (as well as water) to be the perfect solution to soothing a tired out voice.

Plastic cups, bowls and plates

We can’t tell you how many times in class we had food, or tried to do some sort of project where either bowls, plates or utensils were missing. Having a small stash of plastic cups, bowls, plates and utensils will at some point come in handy in class.

Small laminator

A laminator may seem like a small addition to your classroom or office, but it can make a big difference in preserving important documents, lesson materials as well as student work. With a laminator, you can protect your resources from spills, tears, and regular wear and tear.

Lamination not only enhances the durability of your educational materials, but it also adds a professional touch to your work. Whether you are laminating posters, flashcards, or student worksheets, a laminator offers a reliable solution for preventing discoloration or fading over time.

*We’ve already taken the time to sort through a host of different laminators for teachers. Checkout the most practical options for in-class or a home office.

Classroom decorations

Classroom decorations have the power to transform a plain and dull classroom into a vibrant and welcoming space that encourages creativity and learning. When done tastefully, with careful consideration of the age group and learning objectives of the students, classroom decorations can help set the tone for an engaging and interactive learning experience.

From colorful posters that teach math concepts to inspirational quotes that motivate and encourage students, the possibilities for classroom decorations are endless; decorations can also serve a functional purpose, such as helping to organize classroom supplies or providing visual aids for classroom activities.

By carefully selecting and strategically placing classroom decorations, you can create a warm and inviting environment that supports and enhances the educational goals for your students. One decoration we’ve grown to love are light filters to add style and comfort to your classroom.

Art supplies

Art supplies can truly make a difference in the classroom. Whether it’s crayons, colored pencils or paints, these tools can help students express their creativity and engage in hands-on learning. Teachers too, can benefit from having a range of art supplies at their disposal. These materials can be used to enhance lessons, customize classroom projects and even facilitate mindfulness exercises.

When selecting art supplies for the classroom, it’s important to consider the quality of the materials and their suitability for different age groups. Well-made supplies can be a wise investment, as they tend to last longer and provide better results.

Art supplies are truly a valuable addition to any learning environment and can inspire a love for creativity that lasts a lifetime. Of course, it does depend on the age of your students and your classroom. If you’re teaching 9th grade math this may not be as important as it would be for a 4th grade class.

Reference material like a dictionary

Having access to reference materials such as dictionaries, thesauruses, and atlases can greatly enhance a student’s learning experience in the classroom. These tools are not only helpful for improving vocabulary and spelling, but also for expanding knowledge on a variety of topics. You can also make various fun student activities out of it.

Dictionaries provide definitions, pronunciation, and parts of speech for any given word, while thesauruses offer a range of synonyms and antonyms to help students vary their language. Atlases, on the other hand, allow students to explore geography and learn about different places around the world.

In combination with in classroom technology like Google Classroom and other helpful Google tools for education, physical reference books can add a lot of depth.

Tennis balls

Tennis balls are fun to use outside during play, but you can make them into a tool in the classroom where you toss the ball to a student and they answer a question. Then they toss it to another student and so forth. You add this layer to any activity to make it more fun and engaging.

Classroom bookshelves

Bookshelves don’t have to be these enormous furniture items you put in a study. There are plenty of great mini bookshelves you can use for your classroom to keep papers, books and toys well organized. Checkout our breakdown on some of our favorite classroom bookshelf options.

Voice amplifier

You can speak softly and have your voice project out when leading a class. Seriously, these affordable items are so surprisingly helpful at a school for a wide range of activities. From field trips to managing recess to being sick and not being able to talk loudly.

See our popular guide on the best voice amplifiers for teachers.

Deodorant

By mid-day after a few classes, it’s always nice to be able to freshen up when need be. Having deodorant on hand is just one of those teacher supplies that will save the say so to speak when you least expect it.

Standard supplies we didn’t think worth mentioning

So let’s wrap this up. As any teacher knows, you should have the basic supplies covered like pencils, rules a hole puncher, note cards, stapler & staples, pens and sticky notes. So we decided not to include these basic items in our list. But we just want to mention that you should have nice stash of all these items as needed.

Teacher supplies conclusion

The best teacher supplies include essential items and quite a few items you would not expect. These supplies are all crucial for creating a conducive learning environment, supporting effective instruction, promoting organization and well being, engaging students, catering to specific needs, managing the classroom, and ensuring safety.

What supplies do you use that you find surprisingly essential? Let us know and we add it to the list. Also checkout this helpful PDF (from teacherspayteachers.com) on how to use school supplies. We found it helpful, maybe you will too?

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.

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