Posted in New Teacher, School Supplies, Teacher Tips, teaching resources

New Teacher Survival List

I remember walking into my first school, my first classroom, a week before the first day of school. AND I WAS TERRIFIED!!!

I started thinking about how my student teaching didn’t start until October, so I had NO CLUE how to start off a school year. What supplies did I need? Was I even going to get any from the school or students? What about my classroom? Does it have furniture? I just wished I could find a new teacher survival list!

My First Year Teaching


Luckily, I shared the room with another English-as-a-Second-Language teacher, and she showed me the ropes. She even went school shopping with me to help me get everything I would need to start the school year off right! ^_^

I KNOW I would NOT have survived without her help. So, as a way to help you through the wildest, hardest, most rewarding, crazy year of your life, here’s are all of the supplies I had (or wish I had!) that saved me throughout the school year!


Flair Pen Bun

Flair Pens

(ALL THE COLORS. Why flair pens? Because they are the BEST. They don’t bleed through anything, they don’t accidentally break and stain your clothes, kids can’t draw on themselves with them, and they KEEP WORKING).

Ticonderoga Pencils


Coloring Pencils (Skin-Color Edition!)

What better way to differentiate than to give students the choice to draw themselves?

HAND-HELD Pencil Sharpeners

(Believe me. There is nothing more annoying then hearing that electric pencil sharpener breaking during your lesson and hearing a kid say, “Teacher!!!! It’s broken!!!!!!!

Besides: They take more ownership for their own pencils when they have to sharpen them. Trust me on this.)

Washi Masking Tape to wrap around the pencils

(So that students know that it is YOUR pencil, and they remember to GIVE IT BACK). I wrapped mine in gold and drew Pikachu on it. It worked great!

My teacher planner

Teacher Planner

This is a more personal one. Bullet Journals work for some ( the teacher next-door had made a GORGEOUS one), others use google calendar, etc. If you are a visual person like me, somebody who NEEDS to write things down, or you don’t know where to start, try this one out!


Hot Pad for Shoulders

When your shoulders tense so hard it gives you a headache, this hot pad you can pop in the microwave is your SAVIOUR.

Coffee Mug.

The beans. The mug. The coffee-maker. The electric tea kettle. All of it. Then teach students how to make coffee in case you run out.

Bandaids – In multiple skin colors


ID Badge Holders with Lanyard

(Seems like a weird one, I know. But they are soooo useful for keeping track of student names, for field trips, for hall/bathroom passes, and for implementing the flexible grouping system I created for you).

Chalkboard Markers

Hate chalk dust? Hate it when your directions get smudged or erased? Now you never have to worry about it!

Firbon A4 Paper Cutter with a security safeguard and ruler

(Again, another weird one. You’ll thank me when you have ALL THOSE PAPERS to cut and the paper cutter available for staff is dull, broken, or always being used).

Electric Stapler

It’s time to treat yo’ self. Your welcome.

Other ESSENTIAL items: Coffee Maker (I personally use the french press), Microwave (to heat up your cold coffee), Hand Sanitizer (so you can drink your coffee without getting sick), Tissues, Packaging Tape (To keep things on desks and tables), BIG POSTER sticky notes, grid paper for students, chocolate, more coffee, mini-fridge, and pictures of cute happy things.

My puppy Momo. Isn’t she ADORABLE?!!!


Page Protectors

Not only does it help you NOT HAVE TO LAMINATE resources, you never have to worry about things falling out or ripping out again! You can even write and erase on it with a whiteboard marker!

Accordion File Folders

I used to keep all my graphic organizers here so that students can just grab it and go as they needed! Best part: They could do it independently!

Baskets, Organizers, etc.

The goal here is make supplies easily accessible for students. AKA, they can get it themselves without asking you.


All the Montessori teachers I worked with had binders STUFFED with their lessons plans and resources. I even saw one teacher use it to help students keep track of what lesson they are on, and what they need to do next!


Cheaper than sticky tac, and just as effective. Plus, it won’t take paint off the wall!

And there you have it! All the essentials to make it through that first year!

What do you think about this First-Year Teacher Survival List?
Would you add anything to it? Let us know below!