Teacher Survival Kit
The beginning of the school year is always busy with lots of things to do to get ready. With all the lesson planning, classroom decorating, and meetings, there may be some things you haven’t thought about that will come in handy. These are things that I have found to be useful in the classroom along with various suggestions of the products I love. The students have already gathered their school supplies, now it’s time for you to get the things you can’t live without, your “Teacher Survival Kit.”
There are three things that you must have for school. The first being a good bag that you can carry all those necessary items back and forth from school to home. Next, is some sort of travel mug or cup. Something that you can take with you in the car and have for use throughout the day. Lastly, you will need a lunch box. It makes is easy to keep your lunch together and identifiable if you put it in the lounge refrigerator. Here are some great options:
MY PICK: Tervis Tumbler - I don't do coffee, so I like my drinks cold and the Tervis Tumbler is the perfect option. Keeps drinks cold, doesn't spill, and little to no condensation. I use the Tervis Tumbler regularly at work and at home.
-Tervis Water Bottle (24oz)
For a detailed review of each travel mug, check out the Travel Mugs review page.
MY PICK: BUILT Neoprene Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote - It's the perfect size to fit all my lunch items and it comes in lots of cute colors and designs. Big enough to fit an ice pack, drink, and all the food I need.
(The other two options are less cutesy and larger. Great for guys or if you need more room in your lunch box.)
MY PICK: SOLO Vintage Leather Laptop Tote - I like to carry my laptop/tablet with me, so having a place to safely put my electronics is important. It has room for files, notebooks, and other materials that I need to carry to and from work. Also, the SOLO tote is stylish, professional, and durable because of the leather material.
For a detailed review of each teacher bag, check out the Best Teacher Bags review page.
Teaching takes work and you will need a stash of snacks to get you through the day. It’s important to keep your energy up to stay focused. I’ve created a list of healthy snacks, with suggestions of items to purchase, that you can keep in the classroom with little to no preparation.
MY PICK: thinkThin Protein Bars, Gum, Fruit, and Trail Mix - My favorite snack is the thinkThin CRUNCH (coconut, chocolate, mixed nuts) Protein Bar. I each at least one of these bars a day. A great mid-morning/afternoon pick-me-up. I also love Trail Mix. The nuts, raisins, and chocolate are the perfect mix of salty and sweet to get you through the day. Also, any fruit is great and some gum (Orbit's Sweet Mint is my favorite) is great for after lunch or before meetings.
Granola Bars/Protein Bars
-Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut Granola Bar Value Box (48 count) (Nature Valley has many other options to fit your taste preferences. Just check out amazon.com, Nature Valley.)
-Kashi Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bar (24 count)
-thinkThin Protein Bars Variety Pack, Gluten Free (15 count)
-Black Jewel Premium Microwave Popcorn (6 pack)
-Annie’s Homegrown Organic Fruit Snacks (5 count box, pack of 4)
-Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Mixed Fruit (22 pouches)
-David & Son Pumpkin Seeds 2.25oz (12 pack)
-Bergin Nut Company Pepitas, Roasted & Salted 14oz bag (4 pack)
-Planters Mixed Nuts, Lightly Salted (10oz, 4 pack)
-Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Peaches, and other favorite fruits
-Nabisco Wheat Thins, Original (2 bags of 20oz)
-Snyder’s Mini Pretzel (48 pack)
-Kirkland Signature Trail Mix (peanuts, M&M’s candies, almonds, cashews, raisins - 4lbs)
-Bare Fruit Organic, Gluten Free Baked Apple Chips, Fuji OR Granny Smith (2.2oz bags, 12 pack)
-Inka Crops Roasted Plantains (4oz bags, 12 pack)
-Kirkland Crystal Clear Cutlery 360 pieces (180 forks, 120 spoons, 60 knives)
-Dixie Paper Plates (10 inches, 240 count)
-Orbit Sweet Mint Gum (12/14piece Packs)
Peanut Butter and Apple Slices
If you have access to a refrigerator, these are great snack options:
-Veggies and Dip
-Hummus and Veggies or Pita
-Chips and Salsa
-Cheese and Crackers
-Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
Being around students is a dangerous job with all those germs flying around and accidental cuts and scrapes, it’s important to have some needed items around. Just make sure you keep these locked up and out of the reach of students.
First Aid Kit
-Advil, Ibuprofen Tablets, 50 two-packs (100 Caplets)
-Tylenol Extra Strength, 2 Caplet Dosage (100 Caplets)
-Vicks DayQuil Cold and Flu Multi-Symptom Relief (2 Caplet Dosage, 25 Packets)
-Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Relief (24 caplets)
-Halls 6 pack (2 Halls Cherry, 2 Halls Honey Lemon, 2 Halls Defense Assorted Citrus) (I love that this pack has cough drops and defense drops for when you feel something coming on.)
-Band-Aid Brand Advanced Healing Blister Cushions (6 count box, 2 pack)
-Superfeet Premium Insoles (Check chart for which arch height to buy - different color means different arches)
TOILETRIES & OTHER ITEMS
It’s always good to have some toiletries around. You never know when you may need to brush your teeth after lunch, add some extra deodorant after recess duty, or redo some make-up before you head to a parent teacher conference. As teachers, you’re always prepared for anything. Here are some things that could come in handy:
-Dr. Fresh 3-in-1 Dental Kit - Toothpaste/Scope/Toothbrush
-Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer (1 Lt.)
-Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion (18oz, with pump)
-O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream (3.4oz)
-Dove Ultimate Clear Go Fresh Cool Essentials (Women’s, 2.6oz)
-Old Spice High Endurance Pure Sport (Men’s, 4.2oz, 2 pack)
-Scunci Hair Bands, Assorted Colors (Headbands)
Feminine Care Items
Cleaning supplies are always great to have around. You never know when there might be a spill or you need to clean desks off to keep germs at bay. Having some cleaning items will make life easier, so you don’t have to send little Johnny down to the bathroom to get a handful of paper towels.
-Febreze Air Effects, Linen and Sky Scent (9.7oz, 3 pack)
-Lysol Disinfecting Wipes Value Pack, Lemon and Lime Blossom (240 count)
-Sparkle Paper Towels, 12 Large Rolls
-Lysol Professional Disinfectant Spray, Original Scent (19oz)
-Clorox Green Works Natural All Purpose Cleaner (32oz, 3 pack)
-Swiffer Dusters (Handle and 24 Refills)
You never know when you may need to fix something because maintenance is busy. (They have a lot to do.) It’s nice to have a few things to go to if you need them or it’s an emergency, like a flashlight if the power is out. Also, tape and fishing line can be used for hanging things around the classroom.
-South Bend Monofilament (20lb, 270yds)
Your desk is used for so many things and it’s important that you have all the items that you need and can keep you organized. You’ll be grading, lesson planning, filing, and note taking all at your desk and that can cause clutter. I’ve come up with some things that can be helpful in organizing and things that you need on a daily basis.
-Pentel Twist-Erase III (2 Pack)
-Write Dudes USA Gold #2 Pencils (24 Pack)
-Pendaflex 2-Tone File Folders, 5 Colors (box of 100)
-Pendaflex Recycled 1/5-Cut Tab Hanging File Folders (box of 25)
-Swingline 747 Rio Red Stapler (20 Sheet Stapling Capability)
Dry Erase Markers
-Sterilite 6-qt See-Through Storage Box (12 boxes)
-Post-it Notes (Canary Yellow, 3” x 3”, 12 pads/pack)
-Post-it Page Markers (Assorted Colors, .5” x 2”, 50 markers/pad, 10 pads/pack)
This category is for those things you won’t need all the time and may not think about them until you need them, but it’s always good to have things just in case. You never know when you may need batteries for a lesson or those extra sunglasses and whistle for recess.
Whistle, Bell, or Horn
-Ziploc Sandwich Bags (120 count)
-Columbia Women’s Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket (Various Colors)
-Columbia Men’s Steens Mountain Full Zip 2.0 Fleece Jacket (Various Colors)
These are just a few book titles that can be helpful and insightful. I know there are so many other books that could be chosen, but I only listed a few.
-The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
-The Passion Driven Classroom: A Framework for Learning & Teaching by Angela Maiers & Sandvold
-The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell
-The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time! by Maia Heyck-Merlin
This is what I would consider a bonus category. If you are lucky enough to have these things, that is great! Tablets can be very helpful in the classroom and speakers are great for listening during quiet work times, recess, or as a lesson aid. Also, I’ve already done an extensive article on tablets, so check that out.
-Logitech UE Mobile Boombox (Bluetooth, Wireless)
-HDMX Jam Classic Speaker (Bluetooth, Wireless)