Back to School Teacher Must-Haves

This coming school year is full of unknowns right now.  Will we start on time?  Will we have full class sizes?  Will we move to distance learning again?  Will students and teachers have to wear mask? etc.  As of right now, our students have a virtual option, or they will return as normal to the in-school setting.  We know that there will be certain guidelines in place, such as no sharing of supplies and desks 6 feet apart, but we don’t know too many details yet.

I did want to go ahead and put together a list of items that I will be purchasing for this coming school year.  Some of these things are items that I purchase normally, while some of the other items are more specific to this year.

This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small commission when items are purchased from these links, which helps to support my little area of cyber space and keep the blog up and running.

All of the items are numbered and linked below, or you can click on the picture and use the direct links from the PDF file for easy access.

These Must-Have Back to School items will be helpful as we return to school in the fall.

1.  Wireless DoorbellI love this wireless doorbell from SadoTech.  I use it as an attention grabber for my students and it works like a charm.  You can change the tune to keep it fresh as well.  All you have to do is plug it into an outlet.  Then, you can carry around the actual doorbell button with you.

2.  UV Light Sanitizer Bag – Genius!  How perfect will this be for the coming school year?  You can use it to sanitize your phone, pencils, markers, math manipulatives, etc.

3. Play-Doh – I use Play-Doh every year, especially at the beginning of the year.  My only change this year will be to label each tub with a child’s name.  They will have to have their own instead of using all of them.

4. Birthday Crowns – This is another item that I purchase every year to have on hand.  Whatever you decide to use for birthday celebrations (pencils, treat bags, crowns, stickers,…), have them ready to go at the beginning of the year.

5. Dry Erase Erasers – I purchase these every couple of years.  They are pretty cheaply made and only last about 2-3 years max.  However, they are fairly inexpensive and I like that they are small.  I have also heard of a lot of people having success using socks or the microfiber makeup remover pads from Dollar Tree.  I usually throw all of my erasers in a tub, however this year, I will have them in individual supply kits for each student.

6. Xacto Pencil Sharpener – I am very particular about my pencil sharpener.  I even have it labeled “Teacher Use Only.”  However, this year, I may have to let go of my control over my sharpener 😉  To keep me from touching everyone’s pencils, which you know have been in mouths, up noses, and even down pants, I may let my students sharpen their own pencils.  This sharpener is hands-down my favorite!  I love that it has a blue light that comes on when the pencil is sharpened, so it really is easy for kids.  We have one at home as well, and my 5 year old sharpens his pencils with no problems at all.

7. Inkjoy Pens – I know that teachers are serious about their pens.  Inkjoy pens are my absolute favorite.  I would pick them over flair pens any day.

8. Carpet Spot MarkersThese will be so useful this coming school year in keeping students 6 feet apart.  I plan on putting them on my carpet for when we line up to go in the hall.  I will also use them to mark places for my students to sit.  These will only work if you have carpet.  If you have tile, you may want to check out these EZ Stick Spot Markers.

9. Stackable Supply Boxes – My students will have their own pencil boxes in their desks, but I am purchasing these for other individual materials that my students will need.  (Dice, dry erase markers and erasers, math manipulatives, etc.)  I love that they are stackable, so they will be easy to store.

10.  Clipboards – I frequently use clipboards in my classroom, but I know that they will be used even more next year.  The thought of having 6 year olds in desks ALL DAY LONG, is not okay with me.  Students can use a clipboard to complete their work while sitting 6 feet apart on the floor.  We can also take work outside, weather permitting.  We may have to get creative, but we will definitely not be facing forward in desks all day long.

What are some items that you could see working in your classroom next year? What will you have to adjust and change?

*Feel free to pin the image below to save for later.

These must-have items for teachers are perfect for this coming school year.


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  1. Thanks for all the ideas! Clipboards and play doh were on my list too. Now I’m adding the stackable supply boxes and dry erasers to my list. I’m still at a loss on what to do about morning tubs and recess items! That’s my next item to tackle! 🙂

  2. Why have I never thought about using a wireless doorbell? That’s a great idea! The pencil sharpener is usually off limits to my first graders as well but like you, I’m going to need to rethink that rule for next year. Thanks for the list:-)

  3. The link for the UV light bag says not found? This is a good idea to help sanitize things in the classroom.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. The one that I linked to is no longer available. I linked another one that is similar.

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