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Every new teacher wonders how to best prepare themselves for life in the classroom. And problem solving is a big part of teaching. If you have the right tools at your disposal, you’ll feel prepared and confident. So in this article we explore the essential office supplies for your teacher bag. While you can’t carry the whole office with you to class, if you always have these items on hand, it will make your life a whole lot easier!
Who remembers Mary Poppins’ bag? Sometimes my teacher bag seems to resemble that! I have all sorts of odds and ends in my bag that always seem to come in handy. However, there are a few “office supply” staples (no pun intended) that I never enter the classroom without. Stock you bag with these and you’ll be prepared to tackle all sorts of problems.
Unless you’re still using a chalkboard (in which case you can change this to chalk), chances are that you’ve got a whiteboard in your classroom. Chances also are that amid all your prep for your awesome lesson, you’ll forget to bring something to write with. Having back up markers in your bag is an absolute MUST!
These little guys come in surprisingly handy for lots of things besides their obvious use. If I do a writing lesson, these are essential. They help me keep all my students’ papers organized as I mark them. There’s nothing worse than losing someone’s writing assignment! You can also use paper clips for board game pieces, counting tools, or even as a visual representation of a grammar or vocabulary point. I never seem to have enough of these!!
Someone always forgets their notebook or textbook and needs something to write on. Rather than having them just look at their partner’s work, give them their own piece of paper. This way they can take ownership of their work. And if your lesson timing is off and you need a filler, that extra paper can be used in so many different ways. Check out the 101 Activities book on the TEFLPros course to see some fun activities for your class.
A lot of schools will have a big heavy tape dispenser for all the teachers to share in the teacher’s room. But what use is that in your classroom? When you want to hang your students’ work around the room or put images up on the whiteboard, you need something quick and easy. In comes the roll of scotch tape or masking tape that hangs out in your bag. On a side note, this also comes in super handy when there’s an accident and someone’s paper or project gets ripped. Teachers must always be prepared!