After shepherding students of all ages through hybrid learning while enduring a global pandemic, it’s safe to say that teachers are superheroes (although you already knew that). What you may not realize, however, is that teachers often end up spending their own money on classroom supplies and other necessities that set up students to thrive.
So if you’re back to school shopping for your own kids or looking to donate some supplies to local schools in your area, you might want to know what to stock up on. We asked HuffPost readers who are also teachers about the things they use the most through the school year.
When thinking about bulk back-to-school supplies, Jacqueline Theriault, a high school science teacher Las Vegas, encourages you to think outside the pencil box. While teachers surely use a lot of classics school supplies like writing implements and glue sticks, they also need things like snacks, cleaning products and even personal hygiene supplies on hand to make their kids feel safe.
“I suggest we allow ourselves to redefine what qualifies as a ‘needed classroom supply’ that teachers could use some help with supplementing,” Theriault commented. “Making sure my kids are able to eat something while at school goes a long way towards being able to build a bond that cements my relationships with them, and helps fortify their trust in me to teach them.”
Science teacher Paula Munoz Guzman explained that having a classroom stocked with things like food and cleaning wipes makes students feel safe and cared for.
“I want them to come to my class and not worry,” Guzman said. “We want our students to feel valued and important.”
To help keep classrooms around the country stocked and ready, Theriault, Guzman and others listed out the things teachers use the most.
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Chromebook chargers and power strips
Index or flash cards
Over a dozen teachers said they always need both white index cards and colored flashcards for their rooms. “I always run out of index cards,” teacher Mary Antelo said.
Electric pencil sharpeners, durable scissors and staplers
“Menstrual products of different varieties” were on teacher Nicole Johnson’s list.
Tissues were another item that dozens of educators asked for. “I can never have enough tissues,” teacher Chelsey Swats-Craft said.
Individually wrapped snacks
“I spent my own money last year on glue sticks on top of what I got from my classroom supply budget. And then other teachers needed to borrow some as well,” said middle school teacher Brittany Ketter.
Clorox wipes were a highly recommended item among teachers, and are easy to buy in bulk. Staples sells them in bulk as five packs of three canisters for a total of 15.
Black Expo markers
Pre-sharpened #2 Ticonderoga pencils
Tokens of appreciation for support staff