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Your Go-To Items to Purchase as a Teacher

A broad generalization about teachers is that teachers love school supplies. Every teacher needs supplies for the classroom, oneself, and the students. At the same time, classroom essentials vary from one teacher to another. There are specific classroom supplies almost universally considered by teachers as essential, whether a new teacher or a veteran. 

Here are some go-to items that I have found helpful in classrooms, along with ideas on how to incorporate them.

White Sticker Labels

Use white sticker labels to identify student workbooks or cubby spots. Instead of writing directly on workbooks or other busy backgrounds, fixing a white label to an item can make the student's name or other identifier stand out. 

Colorful Cardstock

Want to motivate creativity and artwork in the classroom? Colorful cardstock is an arts and crafts essential in the classroom that is perfect for creating and showcasing artwork on the classroom walls.

School ruler

Rulers are not only for students but a classroom item needed by every teacher. Rulers are a perfect classroom collection that teachers use to reinforce measuring skills. Teachers can also give rulers as prizes during classroom competitions. 

Investing in a box of rulers is a good idea to help students when they forget theirs, or it breaks.


The classroom is one of the environments where infectious diseases such as coughs and colds can spread from one child to another. Kleenex is an essential item during colder months characterized by coughs and colds. Having Kleenex within the classroom can help reduce the spread of germs.


Clipboards are a must-have teacher supply that is cheap and has multiple uses. You can use them to hold grade sheets or charts at the teacher's desk. You can also hang them around the classroom for different purposes, such as fire or emergency documents or tardy sheets.

Pencil Sharpener

Every teacher would confirm the significance of having a pencil sharpener in the drawer of their desks. This is especially ideal for teachers in kindergarten, where most kids do not know how to use a sharpener properly. 

Having a good pencil sharpener is a classroom essential in ensuring quick sharpening of pencils for the students before the lesson begins. Electric pencil sharpers are a great option because they are quick and durable.

Binder Clips

Binder clips help teachers keep worksheets together and other important documents, such as consent forms and school trip sign-up sheets.

Hanging File Folders

Hanging file folders help keep each unit or subject more organized and accessible when needed.

10-Drawer Organizer Cart

A 10-drawer organizer cart is perfect for holding school supplies and papers. Besides, it does not take up too much space in the classroom. The organizer cart can store supplies, colored papers, teacher copies, worksheets, and other stationery items. 

Desk Organizer

Teachers are prone to have items all over the desk during lessons. Take the stress out of having a messy desk by having a desk organizer that holds everything and allows easy access when needed.

Dry Erase Markers

A teacher can never have enough dry-erase makers. These markers are essential for teachers using a whiteboard. Having a variety of colors will help with teaching and learning. Using different colored markers on white backgrounds makes it easier for students to read the board from the back of the classroom.

Three-Hole Punch

A three-hole punch is an essential teacher item that allows paper sheets to be placed into a binder. It ensures everything is together in one place and is ideal for different subjects or units.


A globe is an excellent way to encourage students' interaction with the world, learn new areas, and teach geography.

Numbered Dice

For mathematics teachers and teachers who like incorporating learning games during lessons, numbered dice are a great item to consider. For instance, a teacher can engage the students in an icebreaker activity by rolling a die to see the question a student will answer during the introduction.  

For math practice, the game "Going to Boston" has been around for a long time and is great for enhancing students' addition skills. Three dice are used in this game. A player rolls all the dice at once and sets the highest die aside. The remaining two are then rolled, and the highest is set aside. Every player gets to roll the dice, with the highest score winning the round.

Written by Valary Oluoch
Education World Contributor
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