Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Standard Teacher Supply List

As I continue my work with new teachers here in the Rio Grande Valley, I've been getting a lot of practical questions that most first year teachers around the globe are probably asking as well. A common theme I was asked about is "What supplies do I need to buy?"

First, a rule of thumb: You need to get anything you will need on a regular basis, even if it is provided by the school. These are basically your backup, your emergency supplies, for the times that the supplies aren't provided or you don't have time to get them. So make sure you have the following, even if it is packed away in a box in your closet:
  • Dry erase markers or chalk in various colors (depending on your board)
  • Permanent markers***
  • Post-It Notes
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler, staples and a staple remover
  • 3-Hole Punch (even if you don't use 3-ring binders in your classes, some of your students will, and you might use it yourself)
  • Locks (for whatever doesn't already have one)
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • "Art box" containing colored markers, pencils, and crayons
  • Highlighters
  • Paper clips (big and small)
  • Rubber bands***
  • Pens and/or pencils
  • Quality erasers (I recommend Sanford's Magic Rub)
  • Ream of printer/copier paper
  • Extra notebooks and folders (just a few, and not any type in particular)
Hopefully, many of these items will last you for years because you will be well-supplied by your campus. If you know you'll need a class set of items, such as highlighters or rulers, you should probably get those yourself while back to school sales are still going on. You have to assume that your school, like most schools, has a limited budget and might not accommodate your request (however valid).

***WARNING: These items tend to grow legs and disappear faster than you can say, "Welcome back to school!" You must keep them in a place where students can't get to them (preferably locked), and watch over them carefully when students are using them legitimately.

Tomorrow: The SECRET Teacher Supply List, the essentials "they" won't tell you about!