35 New Teacher Must Haves That Won’t Break the Bank

To prep for the new year, grab a few of these new teacher must haves. These essentials will make your teaching life easier.

New Teacher Must Haves

1. Water Bottle or Thermos

Fill your water bottle early in the morning, and you’ll have fresh water at your disposal whenever you need a quick drink.

2. Stash of Hygiene Items

For the ladies, keep a stash of tampons, tissues, sanitizer, and hand wipes in your desk drawer for unexpected emergencies.

3. Rolling Teacher Bag

Prevent backache by carrying all of your graded papers and supplies in a fashionable rolling teacher bag.

4. Thank You Cards

Whenever someone in the school community does something nice for you, show appreciation by giving them a handwritten thank you note.

5. Paper Filing Pocket Chart

This versatile pocket chart easily hangs on the wall, and each little slot has a place to insert a label.

Place into it graded papers, student supplies, manipulatives, read aloud books…whatever you want.

classroom organization ideas

6. Heavy-Duty Pencil Sharpener

Though students usually possess those small, hand-held pencil sharpeners, consider purchasing at least one heavy-duty one for your classroom.

7. Mentor

In this profession, a support system is one of the new teacher must haves that’s going to help keep you sane as you journey along in your teaching career.

8. EZ Grader

An EZ Grader is a classroom essential that reduces the amount of time you spend grading.

9. Lunch Bag

A reusable, washable lunch bag is ideal for carrying your lunch and/or snacks.

10. Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, and granola store well plus provide that quick energy boost when you need it.

11. Colorful Pens

Make grading a little less boring by using pens that come in an array of colors such as purple, lime green, blue, and pink.

12. Test-Dividers

To minimize cheating and/or provide students with privacy when taking a test, try test-dividers. They also serve well during independent work.

13. Emergency Lesson Plans

It’s vital that new teachers create a really good set of emergency lesson plans. Though preparing them takes a bit of work upfront, the peace-of-mind gained is priceless.

14. Clipboard

Clipboards are perfect for taking notes, one-on-one instruction, and small groups.

Purchase a set for your whole class. Students love to grab one to use during learning centers and independent work.

15. Contact Paper

Contact paper is like tape on steroids and is a fantastic new teacher must have.

Use it to secure name tags, classroom library basket labels, and anything else that needs to stay in place.

16. Favorite Read Aloud Books

Collect a few of your favorite real aloud books to share with learners during mini-lessons.

17. Whistle

Whether to grab students’ attention at recess, lunch, or carpool duty, a whistle is a great addition to your new teacher must haves list.

18. Glue Gun

A glue gun comes in handy for all of those festive crafts or classroom decoration ideas.

You probably won’t use it too often, but when needed, you’ll be happy to have it on hand.

19. Portable Filing Accordion Organizer

Keep all of your important work papers in a portable filing folder.

Suggested labels include medical insurance, contract, pension info., professional development, tax forms, etc.

20. Lap Desk

Comfortably grade papers or write lesson plans in the bed or on the couch using a lap desk.

21. Printer

When you’re lesson planning at home, you may sometimes want to print a couple of copies of something without waiting until you get to school to do so.

Doing so saves you time at work.

22. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff Book

When you need nuggets of wisdom and guidance, check out Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.

This book motivates you to keep going strong when things feel too overwhelming or uncertain.

23. Wardrobe

One of the most important new teacher must haves is a very nice business-casual wardrobe.

Even if your school has a relaxed dress code, a professional image is what you want to project.

Comfortable and stylish options for teachers exist, and you don’t have to break the bank to look the part.

24. A Growth Mindset

Keep your mind open to professional growth plus encouraged by reciting daily teacher affirmations.

Saying a few of these phrases a day will keep the stress at bay.

25. Favorite Planner

A year-long planning book keeps you organized and on top of school events.

No need to purchase anything fancy. Photocopying a few simple templates works well.

26. Early Finisher Activities

You’ll have those fast finishers who constantly ask, “What do I do now?” Be prepared for them!

Gather a healthy portion of early finisher activities for those students who zoom through their assignments.

27. Teaching/Learning Websites

On your technological device, bookmark your most-used and best teaching/learning websites.

Then when lesson planning, you’ll be able to access them quickly.

28. Exit Ticket Templates

Grading is one of the least-appealing parts of an educator’s job.

However, you can reduce the amount of grading you need to do by incorporating a healthy dose of exit slips.

With exit ticket templates, you quickly assess what learners took away from the lesson instead of spending hours marking papers in order to figure out the same.

30. Class Wishlist

If you can’t manage to buy everything you want from your new teacher must haves list, then think about asking students’ parents to contribute or donate items.

At the beginning of the school year, send out a classroom wish list with your requests.

31. Paper Cutter

If you’ll be doing a lot of cutting, consider buying a small paper cutter. Be sure to keep it out of the reach of students.

32. Mini Laminator

Save time having your posters laminated by keeping your own little portable laminating machine in your classroom.

33. Label Maker

By using a label maker, you’ll keep your materials, supplies, and papers organized plus visually appealing.

34. Favorite Thing that Helps You Relax

As a new teacher, you’re probably going to experience longer-than-usual work days until you find your flow and rhythm.

Once you have your classroom systems in place, disconnect once home, and do something that helps you to relax.

Have a glass (or two!) of wine, listen to wind-down music, spend time with family/friends, watch TV, read a book, sleep, go bike riding, cook, exercise, etc.

It’s these moments that are going to recharge your soul, mind, and body so that you face yet another day in the classroom with confidence, calmness, and happiness.

35. New Teacher Supply Kit

Last but not least, always keep on hand a decent supply of common items like pencils, rulers, stapler, hole punch, sticky notes, rubber bands, etc.

Your list of must haves for new teachers isn’t complete without them.

What Every First-Year Teacher Should Have

Whether you’re brand new or relatively new to the teaching profession, work smarter by collecting a few of these recommended must haves.

These classroom essentials will make your teaching life easier.