6 Items Every Teacher Needs in Their Classroom




When it comes to back to school shopping for teachers many typical school supplies make the top of the list: markers, chart paper, bulletin board paper, and colorful pens. While those items are always on my shopping list, too, there are a few items that I just cannot live without in my home away from home…my classroom! 

Here are my favorite must haves* for any classroom teacher!


All that talking, especially during the first two weeks, makes me thirsty! I love having water on my desk all day long. I need my water cold and fresh which is why I LOVE swell water bottles! No mini-fridge, no problem! These literally keep my ice cubes in tact all day long and are a great investment to use all year long.  See all the pretty colors and designs HERE. Also check out these S'ip water bottles that are made by Swell. These also work well to keep your drinks cold all day! Not a cold drink lover? These bottles will keep your tea or coffee hot, as well! Everybody wins!


I literally use this almost every day! If you have not heard of these you are missing out! It is a simple hot water kettle that you fill up, plug in, turn on, and in about three minutes you have boiling water! If you are an avid tea drinker like me, it is just perfect to have in your classroom. I keep a box of my favorite teas and honey in a small Tupperware container right next to my kettle. I love to offer tea to my colleagues if we are meeting in my classroom and to parents during parent teacher conferences. It works wonders to set the mood and make your classroom feel like home. These are so easy to use and clean, that you will want one for your actual home, too! THIS is the one that I have had for years and it is still going strong!


When I first started teaching, many moons ago, I did not have to wear an ID badge. Today they are a must! I also like to keep my classroom key on my lanyard. If I take off my ID cards, I can pretty much guarantee that I will lose it, which means I am locked out of the school and classroom and will then need to buy another one.  That is why I absolutely need to have a lanyard that I LOVE to wear. These lanyards from Scarlett of Eden are too adorable and calming to even think about taking off! They are hand made with clay beads that I love to hold in my hands and turn throughout the day. You will instantly become addicted to twirling those hand crafted beads, too! #teacherfidgetspinner 


Real talk: my first few years of teaching I literally said, "Where is the pen?" about one hundred times a day at every sign out spot in the classroom. Then I found the teacher's dream school supply: the pen on the chain. I am not even sure the official name, but that is what I call it! I keep these bad boys all over my classroom: on the bathroom sign out clipboard, the classroom library check out clipboard, the morning meeting book talk sign up clipboard, are you seeing a pattern? I love that my kids cannot walk away with my pen, saving the next student that needs to sign up, in, or out, the trouble of finding a writing tool.  Worried what will happen when the ink runs out? Don't be! Just grab the replacement pen and you are good to go! You're welcome! See these teacher life saving pens HERE.


There's an alphabet for that! I taught third graders for 16 glorious years. I loved teaching cursive and I loved having a beautiful cursive alphabet above my board for student reference. It made my classroom feel classic, timeless, and just plain complete. Can you relate? So needless to say, the year I was moved to a fifth grade math and science position, my first thought was, "Can I have a cursive alphabet still?" That is why I created a standards aligned cursive math alphabet to hang above my board. I loved having an alphabet with such valuable meaning and intention so much, that I also created an NGSS aligned science alphabet to hang along the back wall.  These unique cursive alphabets allowed me to have both a cursive alphabet AND a vocabulary resource for my students. The moment it was hung up, my classroom felt classic and timeless once again, problem solved! Teach language arts? There's an alphabet for that, too!  See them both HERE.



Fun + purpose = instant engagement! Having a microphone in the classroom not only ups the fun factor of students reading aloud and sharing their own writing, but it also helps students' voices be heard; literally!  We all have that student who speaks and reads quietly. By amplifying their voice, all students can hear and understand what they are saying, allowing that student to build confidence each time they share! Using a microphone also increases student participation. Students who rarely, or never participate will love to use the microphone to share! Get a closer look at all of its awesomeness HERE.

These unique back to school items will surely up the comfort level in your classroom and once you have them all, you will wonder how you got by without them! Read my Meet the Teacher Checklist and scoop up FREE back to school welcome tags HERE.

Looking for more back to school items, check out these resources to help kick off your year in style!



Don't forget to pin this list for later!





Looking for timeless classroom decor? Click HERE.





*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)



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