Hello and happy Saturday. Teachers spend a lot of money throughout the year on stuff for their classes, sometimes without even realizing or meaning to. During my first month in this new job teaching high school I wanted to see how many things I would buy for my classes because there’s this notion that elementary and preschool teachers spend way more money on supplies than middle and high school teachers do.
It’s almost as if people picture high school teachers going into class with only a black Expo marker and a red pen to grade stuff, but reality couldn’t be any more different. I do think that sometimes I go over the top with what I plan for my lessons and what I think is necessary for me to function correctly as a teacher, but I also think that being like that is what makes me a good teacher. I’m going to make a list and tell you what I used each item for.
- Popsicle sticks. These I used for my equity sticks technique, which you can read about in a previous post.
- Cup. I bought one of those desktop metallic holders because I wanted something durable for the aforementioned equity sticks.
- Flair pens. Before I left I gave them away, but I obviously needed them when I came back. As much as I still love them, I think this new year I’ll stick to super fine tip markers from Faber Castell.
- HDMI cable. This, dear teacher friend, is a must for me. In the first school I worked at I was given one, but then in the new school I wasn’t and having to borrow one from the IT department was too much of a hassle so I decided to get my own.
- Folder. I have a cute folder that actually closes like pocket and is the cutest thing ever, but I don’t know why I never took it to this new school. Instead, I bought a new folder, one of those cheap cardboard ones where I would keep the copies, the assignments I needed to grade or to return, that kind of stuff.
- Cardboard. I never figured out how the materials system worked in my new school, like who were you supposed to ask for supplies. I wasn’t a homeroom teacher, nor I was teaching preschool or elementary where you have some supplies that the students bring in hand. That’s why I bought cardboard for my students to make nameplates. This was part of an activity I will soon explain in a future post.
- Mini binder clips. Now, during that first month I had to grade final tests, which were made up of five grades. That means each of my 111 students had a little pack of at least five papers I needed to check, so I’d use the binder clips to assemble each pack while I dug through the pile of papers, and then I’d staple them to return them.
- Highlighters. I used highlighters to draw happy faces and extra points. I’m going to talk more about why I find highlighters important in a future post, I promise.
- Index cards. Again, I didn’t know who I could ask for them, so I bought them myself for a vocabulary activity in which the students wrote some key terms, defined them in their own words, included a sentence in which they used the terms, and made a drawing. These cards went in our word wall.
- Colored paper. We made posters with it.
- Masking tape. Needed to paste the aforementioned vocabulary cards and other cute things my students did while I was their teacher.
Which of these items do you think would be essential to you as a teacher and why? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila