45 Things You Must Have in Your School Survival Kit!

what to have in your teacher survival toolkit


You've spent hours sifting through the Dollar Bins at Target...days pouring over the widgets and gadgets at the Dollar Tree. You've saved every pin on Pinterest of every idea that mankind has ever invented for tackling every obscure or messy classroom challenge ... you are READY to take on the year! Or are you?  

Compiled by seasoned, veteran teachers, here's a list of items you should not start school without!  

Here's our Practical Teacher School Survival Kit … 45 Things You Must Have in Your School Survival Kit!

  1. Some kind of crate or storage box to keep everything in (Maybe even more than one. We teachers like our crates and organization bins!)
  2. Pain reliever (For those headaches and other miscellaneous ailments
  3. Ice Pack (So kids don't have to leave your class to go to the health office)
  4. Band-Aids (For the same reason, kids have lots of excuses to leave the room)
  5. Throat Lozenges (Remember, you talk a lot throughout the day and those kids are germ-mongers. Be sure to know your school's policy when it comes to students and lozenges. Many have menthol, which teachers are not allowed to administer to students.)
  6. Tampons and other feminine products (for you and students)
  7. Deodorant (It's not just the kids who can get "funky"!)
  8. Hairbands or hair clips
  9. Chocolate (Need I say more? Probably best to have some stashed in multiple locations.)
  10. A lightweight sweater or cardigan (For those times when you can't control the A/C)
  11. Safety pins (In case of wardrobe malfunction)
  12. Gas-X (for "those" times)
  13. Chewable Pepto-Bismol
  14. Tums (Do you see a pattern here?)
  15. Flashlight (For emergencies, or ghost stories, whichever)
  16. Screwdriver (The tool, not the beverage …)
  17. Box of Kleenex
  18. Jar of coins (for those days when you or a student forgets lunch or lunch money)
  19. Granola bars
  20. Hand sanitizer (For everyone and everything)
  21. Water
  22. Hand lotion
  23. Hairbrush and hairspray
  24. Latex gloves 
  25. Blister band-aids or moleskin
  26. Mouthwash, Listerine strips, or Altoids
  27. Chapstick or other lip balm (I like Burt's Bees)
  28. Floss or individual flossers
  29. Toothpicks
  30. Travel toothbrush and toothpaste 
  31. Candy, stickers (Trust me, even high school kids love stickers), homework passes, or other rewards for students who surprise you by being/doing something great!
  32. A binder or file full of filler activities (for those times when you are caught off-guard with an extra five minutes in class)
  33. Microwave popcorn (A great snack when you can't leave your desk for lunch)
  34. Tea (Green tea or peppermint tea is good for the soul, and apparently helps curb hunger. Bonus!)
  35. Cup O' Noodles (Perfect for when you forget your lunch, or when a student does)
  36. Glitter Germ-X! Have everyone, including the teacher, shake hands with everyone. Notice how the "germs" spread!
  37. Nail file
  38. Compact mirror
  39. Essential Oils (Peppermint and Lavender are my favorites, especially right before grades are due)
  40. Small pillow and blanket (Let's be honest, sometimes we need a minute to lay down)
  41. Tide Pen or Shout Wipe (For when you tried drinking coffee and walking at the same time)
  42. Fresh fruit or veggies (Of course, they perish, so don't keep them forever. But be sure they are locked away from mice! Yes, every building has mice …) 
  43. Dried fruit (an alternative to the fresh version)
  44. Disposable heat compress for a sore back or neck (i.e. Thermacare Wraps)
  45. A few $15 Starbucks gift cards (for when you forget a colleague's birthday)

    What have we missed? Let's keep the list going! 


    • Paper goods: plates, napkins, plastic silverware ( for impromptu parties or a co-worker sharing food)
      water bottles ( students will ask for them. Some teachers sell them for fundraisers)
      Tape of all kinds( duct tape, moving tape, washi tape, invisible tape)
      a glue gun ( this is a teacher’s best friend) Can help glue shoes together when they rip, hang stuff on walls, etc.)

      Sarah Weaver
    • Very informative thank you very much

      -from definitely a teacher


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