Teachers’ Top Ten Words of Advice About School Supplies

As a new school year encroaches on our summer fun, we begin to see the back to school displays popping up. Personally, I usually have mixed emotions about seeing these displays and their array of perfectly stacked crayons, folders, supply boxes and glue bottles. As a teacher, the displays reminded me I had just a few short weeks to complete my to do list before my summer was over and my weekdays at home came to an end. However, another part of me always loved the back to school shopping and everything it entails. There was always a thrill in shopping for brand new materials and checking them off “the list” as you go. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a back to school shopping event for as long as I can remember. Even after I graduated, supplies for the classroom were always needed. I made sure to pick up a handful of perfectly sharpened crayons, a package of Ticonderoga pencils, and a few extras of everything on the list – because some kids wouldn’t be prepared and I didn’t want them to be embarrassed.


This year however, is going to be different for me. I’ve resigned from my teaching career to stay home with my babies, and the displays now bring a different emotion. Even though I am going to enjoy this time at home, I will miss teaching. If I miss the routine of teaching after 6 short years, I can’t imagine the feeling all the wonderful and amazing retired teachers are experiencing as the new school year is beginning and they aren’t going back. I can’t imagine how they must feel after living the profession for 20, 30 or even 40+ years. With all these mixed emotions, I thought it might be fun to talk with new, established and retired teachers to see if they had a few words of advice to relay about school supply shopping:

Top Ten Words of Advice About School Supplies

1. Shop early, things will sell out.

2. While the character supplies are cute, the only useful category they usually fall into is “folders”.

3. Ask your child’s teacher if they share or have communal supplies. It might not be necessary to write their name on every crayon, pencil and marker.

4. Send extra pencils, and send them sharpened.

5. Don’t skimp on the name brands…they last much longer!

6. Check for sales and use coupons. We know it’s expensive! Don’t feel bad if you forget or miss something, or it’s not in the finances. We would never want your child walking into class feeling badly about not having something.

7. Specials classes (Music, Art, PE & the Library) love to get tissue and hand sanitizer too. They see over 400 kids each week!

8. GLUE STICKS, GLUE STICKS, GLUE STICKS! Send extra glue sticks if you can.

9. An extra change of clothes in backpacks for the younger ones is a must; from lunchroom spills to accidents, it’s more convenient for everyone in the long run.

10. Please avoid sending anything not on the list.

Supply lists aren’t as simple as they used to be. Different districts, different grade levels, and even different schools within the same district can have different supply lists. Please check with your child’s building or school website to get the most accurate supply list.

Enjoy your summer! The first day of school will be here soon.

Have you started back-to-school shopping yet?


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