The Unordinary Teacher Survival Kit – Plus Freebie!Admin
Pretty grading pens, bright colored file folders, shiplap bulletin board paper? These are all fun additions to a classroom, but are they REALLY necessary? Absolutely not!
Over my years in the classroom, I wish I had been given the advice to get the ESSENTIALS! Not pencils, erasers, etc., but SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS for YOU and YOUR classroom!
You know, those things that you wish you had only after you really need them.
This post may contain affiliate links to products that I use and LOVE! This means that I may get a small commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase through one of these links. For more information, see my disclosure.
Here are my Top 10 Classroom Survival Essentials:
1. DIY Toolbox for all the little emergencies!
This DIY Toolbox is number one on my list for a reason! I can’t tell you how many times this little toolbox saved my life. Especially in my early years of teaching, I would be working on my classroom late at night or early mornings, and no one was around to help me fix something. BUT ALSO, we are STRONG, CAPABLE women who don’t need a handyman to fix our problems, right! ?
I have used several toolboxes over the years, and this one is by far my favorite. It comes with heavy duty scissors (opening up plastic packaging will be the death of me!), a level for per?fec?tly straight bulletin boards, and all the essential tools you may need for setting up, taking down, or fixing broken items.
THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL OF FIXING ALL THE THINGS!
2. Reminders Box
This item definitely doesn’t follow the theme of the rest, BUT it by far the most important. As teachers, we have great days, hard days, sad days, days we want to quit, and days that remind us why we do what we do.
I have had this box since my very first year of teaching. Inside I keep ALL of the letters, notes and cards from my students over the years. I HAVE KEPT EVERY SINGLE ONE!
Whenever I have a tough day, I open this box and start reading through the letters. There is nothing better than being reminded by the kids that drive you crazy, why you love them so much!
People always say you should “never go to bed angry!” I have made it a rule for myself to leave work every day with a full heart and excited for the next day. This box has been my go-to when I seem to forget why I chose the greatest profession in the world.
This box is also my greatest treasure.
3. Plastic Storage Containers
With plastic containers, you get what you pay for! These bins actually seal tight, are super heavy duty, and will outlast every move, fall, and excessive stuffing of school supplies. I have filled one of these bad boys from top to bottom with CARD STOCK REAMS (it took 4 people to lift!), and we had no issues!
I’ve used these same bins for 8 years and have never had to replace them! Invest in the best on these!
4. Step Ladder
Raise your hand if you’ve stood on top of chairs, desks, windowsills, etc.?!
Been there, done that, and got yelled at.
Even if you’ve stood on every surface successfully, FEAR YOUR ADMINISTRATORS! We’d rather fall of the desk and break our arm than deal with the wrath of our principal, am I right!?
I invested in this handy step stool that folds up for easy storage. I keep it in my classroom and use it ALL. THE. TIME. Not only is this the safer route, but you’ll never have to fear getting in trouble for stacking two desks on top of each other to hang that list twinkle light!
Fun fact: I love this particular step ladder so much that I have one at home, in my garage, and have gifted it to several friends and family. I’m a believer.
5. Electrical Tape
I use electrical tape for EVERYTHING. I use it to section off my whiteboards (doesn’t leave sticky residue when you remove!), color code materials, and label all of my materials.
I have used painters tape, washi tape- you name it! Nothing works as well as electrical tape AND it comes in so many different colors!
BONUS: It’s super stretchy and durable!
6. Command Strips
Command Strips are by far the easiest way to hang things up in the classroom that require more than a staple. AND, you won’t get scolded for holes in your wall when you remove them! I hunt for sales on Command Strips almost every day! I always seem to need more!
7. High-Quality Water Canteen
This may seem like a no-brainer to stay hydrated, but I cannot tell you how many headaches I’ve sustained from dehydration.
I love this Hydroflask because it keeps my water cold, and is large enough to last until at least your lunch break!
LITTLE STORY! I never thought twice about my water bottles until my second year of teaching. I used to let kids go refill my small, wimpy water bottle for me all the time. UNTIL I found out a student had been a little mad that day and filled my water bottle with toilet water. TOILET WATER.
You can say I have some trust issues now, but regardless, having a LARGE, reusable water bottle is an essential in teacher.
8. Extension Cords
I never thought about getting an extension cord when I first started teaching, but went to buy one during my lunch break on my very first day of setting up my room. – I know a lot of schools and districts provide extension cords, but sometimes it’s just easier to grab the exact one you want.
Then label it with your electrical tape and name so no one takes it!
9. Power Strip
I definitely use the power strips provided by my school, but always need at least one more.
I love this particular power strip because it goes straight into the wall and you don’t have to deal with a messy chord. I also love that you can turn the plugs for each cord!
10. Thick Sharpies
I have purchased so many boxes of these thick sharpies! They can write on any surface and last much longer than other permanent markers!
Pro tip: Label every item! If you don’t want to write directly on an item, slap a piece of duck tape on the item and then label with this marker!
Your classroom may have ALL THE THINGS, and if so, you are so lucky and I’m jealous! When I started teaching I was so incredibly lucky to receive supplies from the previous teacher, but life happens and we have to MAKE MAGIC HAPPEN . These are all my magical items that have saved me one too many times!