Teaching America’s youth is an incredibly rewarding job—you get to watch kids grow, become more independent, form their own opinions, and ultimately, you’re the person shaping their future and their success. But with all of the benefits of teaching come some serious burdens, responsibilities, and stress. From subsidizing school supplies to having to deal with difficult conversations and consequences, teachers can often use a helping hand.
If you’re a teacher in need of that, check out these 7 must-have products that can make life easier for you and your students.
1. Classroom management software
Now that so many classrooms rely on technology to help students learn and explore, there are many new considerations we need to make as educators. The internet can be an extremely helpful tool, but it can also present learning obstacles and sometimes even danger that can impact our students’ lives.
If your class uses technology on a regular basis, a classroom management software system may be something you ask your school board to implement. These systems can both monitor student activity to make sure that they’re on-task, but they also enable you to conduct exams with content restrictions, and you can ensure that students aren’t ever interacting with sites that are inappropriate or dangerous.
As a teacher, you know that monitoring 20 kids at once simply isn’t possible, so make your life easier and enhance your students’ learning process with this must-have.
2. Cleaning supplies
From handling mishaps to dealing with cold season, having plenty of cleaning supplies on-hand is never a bad idea. If you’re teaching young students, make sure that any toxic cleaning supplies are kept out of reach at all times. Place your cleaning supplies in an organized space that’s convenient for you and include the following products:
- Antibacterial wipes
- Paper towels
- Magic eraser
- Stain remover
- Hand sanitizer
- Extra toilet paper and tissues
3. Storage space
Ample storage is absolutely essential if you want to run an efficient classroom. There’s nothing more frustrating than searching for the supplies you need only to spiral into an unorganized mess of books, toys, and tools. Depending on the size of your classroom, you might need to get creative by building bookshelves or investing in cubbies to store a year’s worth of supplies and activities. Once you’ve determined how you want your class to be organized, make it a point to show your students that everything has a home and that it’s everyone’s job to pitch in when things get out of place. Whether you implement a designated clean-up time or just mandate a “leave no trace mentality,” just make sure all class members are on the page as far as responsibilities and classroom cleanliness goes.
4. Interactive display tools
One of the coolest recent developments in classroom technology is interactive display tools like smart whiteboards. By combining the classic whiteboard tool with technology, these products create a unique experience for students and teachers. You can play videos, write on the board, use touchscreen features, and even record your notes and lectures.
5. A timer
This one may go without saying, but in case you forgot an item on your shopping list, here are some of the many applications for using timers in the classroom:
- Timing tests
- Taking breaks
- Tracking playtime and recess
6. Carpet squares
As we’ve discussed, classroom organization tends to get a little out of hand from time to time. Kids get riled up, drama unfolds, and things become more chaotic than necessary. Keeping consistent direction and organization in the classroom can be a game-changer. Rather than allowing students to choose wherever they sit on the floor during reading time, it might be worth investing in some carpet squares in order to maintain order in the classroom. By assigning seats, you can prevent students from sitting next to those who might be distracting or those who might create trouble together. It’s old-school, but it certainly works!
7. Ample supplies
Our final must-have for teachers is ample school supplies. Not only do you need enough to last a school year, but you also want to remember that kids misplace things, items get broken, and sometimes you may even need to lend out school supplies if your students don’t have the resources at home. Being over-prepared is never a bad thing.
Use these tips to help you get your classroom ready for another year of learning and fun!