When the academic year begins each year, it’s common to find teachers scrambling around to find the best supplies to make the year both more educational and more fun for their students. Just like students, teachers also want to make sure their collection of great supplies never gets too low, and if you’re a teacher, there are some supplies that are considered more essential and necessary than others.

From the most basic to the fanciest supplies on the market, it’s always best to make a list first so that you never overlook anything important, and below are just a handful of fun school supplies for teachers that you should have on hand in the Fall when school starts.

A Heavy-Duty Pencil Sharpener

If you’re old enough to remember the old school pencil sharpeners that came with a handle you had to turn and crank to get them to work right, you’re likely already very appreciative of the newest pencil sharpeners that are sturdy and strong and which are operated via a battery or by plugging them into an electrical outlet. Teachers need business-like supplies for their students simply because of the usage each of these supplies gets, so finding a heavy-duty pencil sharpener can save you a lot of time and money throughout the year.

Pencils – and Lots of Them!

Let’s face it, when you’re a teacher you can never have too many #2 pencils, because students break their pencils, try to write without erasers, and lose pencils by the dozen. Pencils bought in bulk can be very inexpensive indeed, and when it comes to teaching supplies that are frequently requested by most teachers, pencils top the list. If you’re a parent who wants to help out your child’s teacher by providing an item you know won’t go to waste, choose several packages of #2 pencils to give to that teacher. Pencils are greatly appreciated by all teachers in all grades!

Cleaning Supplies

No, we’re not talking about floor cleaners or bathroom cleaners here, but basic supplies such as disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers. Let’s face it, kids are messy, and they love to share everything with the other students – including their germs! If you’re a teacher of small children especially, you can find yourself wiping desktops and kids’ hands on a regular basis, so if you’re looking for something to stock up on before August arrives, these are the perfect products to start with!

Cough Drops

Okay, these aren’t technically school supplies, but they can work wonders come cold and flu season. Unless your school specifically forbids these types of products – and some of them do – you’d do well to keep a supply of cough drops on hand whenever the weather turns cooler. A child with a cough is not exactly a rare occurrence when it’s cold outside, and as long as you buy the drops in yummy, kid-friendly flavors such as cherry and grape, you won’t have any problems giving them to your students.

Duct Tape

Duct tape will come in handy far more times than you know because let’s face it, it can fix almost anything! The tape is also inexpensive and is now being manufactured in tons of eye-catching designs, patterns, and colors. Good for all classrooms regardless of the grade being taught, one roll of duct tape can repair almost anything in the room, and the students themselves may offer to help you use it once they see how much fun the designs are and how much the tape can dress things up in the classroom.

Tissues

This is a basic purchase for each and every school year, in part because kids use so many of them, but also because they are disposable and run out quickly. Fortunately, you can catch them on sale at regular stores and at great prices at various discount supply stores, which means you can buy them in large quantities without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a teacher or the parent of a student, donating boxes of tissues to the classroom will never go unappreciated.

Stickers of All Shapes and Designs

You don’t have to be in elementary school to receive brightly colored stars on papers you’ve done a great job on, because stickers in the shape of stars or happy faces make kids of all ages much prouder of their achievements. When it comes to stickers such as these and others, you can’t have too many of them, and fortunately, they are inexpensive enough to buy in huge quantities so that you never run out of them. Stickers even come in shapes with no wording on them, allowing you to put your own personalized message on there for that special star student of yours.

Paper Towels

Rolls of paper towels make great teacher supplies simply because you can use them for so many things. You can wipe up spills on top of desks, clean a dry-erase board, and even wipe up water or juice off the floor, and you don’t have to buy the most expensive brand just to get paper towels that are absorbent. You can get them at any discount store and get what you need without breaking the bank. This is yet another item you should go ahead and buy in bulk before August gets here because if there’s anything you need a lot of when you’re a teacher, it’s paper towels!

A Good Quality Printer

These days, most classrooms have at least one printer, but if your classroom doesn’t, it’s time to consider purchasing one yourself. The good news is that a good quality printer is no longer ridiculously expensive and in fact, the chances are good that you’ll find a great color printer for under $100. If you can afford one that also makes copies and scans, this is even better, but making sure the printer itself is a good one will suffice in most instances. After all, this is one item you’ll likely be using on a daily basis, and the only thing you need to watch out for when choosing a printer is the price of the replacement cartridges – always choose a printer whose cartridges don’t cost a fortune!

All Types of Books

Unfortunately, with today’s school budgets getting cut on a regular basis, there is often a lack of high-quality books in your typical classroom. Regardless of the grade you’re teaching, books are important, and you can get these books almost anywhere, including garage sales, library book sales, used bookstores, and even online. Any book you find will be read by someone, but of course, it’s best if you find some of the “classics” to include in your collection because these tend to be the ones that students read over and over again and never get tired of, regardless of how long they stay in the classroom.

Headphones

Most kids nowadays spend at least part of the school day on the computer, so a good pair of headphones is a great item to have in the classroom. You can buy them for next to nothing in price, and in fact, it’s better not to spend too much on them because they break over time and because you’ll need so many of them. Earbuds seem to be the favorite for most kids, and they are especially inexpensive, so when it comes to classroom supplies you know you’ll need every day of the year, several sets of headphones can make teaching your students much easier when that learning is being done on a computer.

Portable USB Sticks

It seems that regardless of how fast technology moves, portable USB sticks never seem to disappear from the horizon. You can usually afford to buy several of these for your classroom, but even if you don’t, make sure you have one for yourself for those times when you need to copy something off of the computer that you’ll need once you get home. You don’t even have to have a USB drive that holds a lot of materials; in fact, you only need one that holds the minimum amount of stuff in most cases, which also greatly reduces the price of the gadget. Again, this is yet another item that comes in various designs and colors, so they are both useful and a lot of fun to have.

Blank Greeting Cards

These can be used for a variety of purposes, including writing a last-minute note inside of one and giving it to a student or colleague whose birthday you just learned about. They can also come in handy when helping students create their masterpieces for Mother’s Day, and they are so inexpensive that you can buy them by the dozen and pay very little for them. Many stationary items can be found online and are often sold with free shipping, making them even easier to purchase for your classroom. They are bright, colorful, and sometimes funny, and best of all, the ones that are completely blank have a lot of uses for both your students and your co-workers, making them a great addition to any teacher’s collection of supplies.

These are some of the products teachers should consider buying to make lesson planning, classroom activities and grading homework and exams more effective. Teachers should also look into donation programs and find out if they are eligible for free or discounted school supplies from various charities and organizations. The better prepared with supplies the more successful teachers and their students will be!