Let’s be real. We see all over the ‘teacher must haves’ Youtube videos, blogs, and stories on Instagram, but are they really worth it? I can say I fell into the trap of buying anything and everything that I saw on these videos and posts because how was I to know what I really needed?! As a first-year teacher, you are just trying to make it day by day!
With that being said, I will give you the classroom ‘must-haves’ that you ACTUALLY MUST HAVE.
As an Amazon Associate, I do receive commission from qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned
- Pencil Sharpener
Now, not on a single post of these must-have items did I see a pencil sharpener. Let me tell you, I went an entire month without one because I decided I just NEEDED everything else and because NO ONE mentioned it! A pencil sharpener is something that you MUST have. Some schools may provide these or you may be left one from the previous teacher, but I was not! I am sure my teacher partner is ecstatic that I finally bought one! I got a cheaper one from Amazon and the only downfalls so far is how loud it is and how little it holds of the pencil shavings! Other than this, it works just fine!
Learn from my mistake and BUY A PENCIL SHARPENER. Even if you are given or left one, it doesn’t hurt to have two!
This one on Amazon is also a great one to start out with because of the price! Pencil sharpeners can be EXPENSIVE!
At first, I would have left this off this list because I really didn’t think it was a ‘must-have’, but after using it in multiple ways, I would say it is! I was terrified the first few weeks I was going to lose the small doorbell button, but I have a specific place for it on my desk and make sure it always stays there!
I originally bought this thinking it would be an amazing attention getter for classroom management and even had some of my ‘sayings’ formed for it-
- “Pizza’s Here!”
- “Andy’s Coming!”
After the first few weeks of school, I realized I didn’t really want the kids screaming these things every single time I rang the doorbell! So, now my kids just stop, look, and listen when the bell is rung! It is also perfect for when students are doing group or independent work. Once the bell is rung, students know time is up!
3. FLAIR PENS
Give me ALL of the flair pens. I truly can never have enough! On my desk at this very moment I would say I have at least 30 flair pens that I use DAILY.
These are so fun for grading, writing students notes, or making yourself notes! I like to use a different color on each stack of papers when grading and it helps me sort the big stack!
Even if you aren’t buying for a classroom, buy flair pens just to have at home! I will say, I found that some colors are basically out of ink the minute you buy them and it drives me CRAZY.
4. Rolling Cart
Honestly, you may even want to buy more than one of these! I only have one in my classroom right now, but could see myself buying another one for next year!
I use my rolling cart everyday! It is where I place papers to grade, papers I print for the following week, and where I store papers students will need each day for language arts and social studies!
If you get one of these, I HIGHLY suggest going onto Teachers Pay Teachers and buying a set to organize your cart! On each drawer, I have them labeled from a TPT store saying, “Monday” (and all other days), “To Grade”, and “Next Week”.
This is such an easy way to keep yourself and the thousands of papers you will accumulate organized and I am ALLLL about organization.
These can be used in your classroom in so many different ways! I will probably be ordering more, actually. A classroom set of these just isn’t enough for me!
One way I use these is to display student work! In my third grade classroom, I put them on a cork board with push pins to hang them up! In my current classroom, I have a bulletin board that says “If you give a fourth grader a pencil…” and have used push pins to hold these dry-erase pockets up! It makes switching out there work extremely easy and adds color to the board!
Another way these are great in the classroom is there original use, for students to use dry-erase makers on! Slip whatever paper you are wanting students to work on underneath and students can go crazy with a dry-erase marker! I can see these being great for lower elementary when practicing forming letters and sentences.
Now, I am sure you are wondering the items I bought and purposefully left off this list! I will note, the items I left off of this list may be awesome for teachers and it may be some teachers ‘must-have’ items, but for me, they weren’t! It really all depends on how you want to run your classroom and do things!
- 26 Drawer Plastic Storage Cabinet
- Velcro Dots
- 30-Slot Mailbox
- Learning Resource Student Grouping Pencils
- Portable Project Case
- Learning Resource Answer Buzzers
- Magnetic Numbers
Shopping for your classroom and need more ideas?
Check out Discount School Supply!
They have ALL OF THE THINGS! Everywhere from classroom organization, flexible seating, STEM resources, and SO MUCH MORE! I wish I had known of this site when I was setting up my classroom!
Using my code, SAVE20A, you can save $20 when spending $150 or more! This may sound like a lot, but you spend A TON on your classroom, why not save some money?