Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

You spend about eight hours a day in the classroom; it’s basically your second home.  You never know what your day in the classroom will throw at you, so be sure you’re prepared.  In addition to your basic supplies, stock up with these 10 essential items every teacher should have at their desk.



  1. Good Grading Pens/Markers – You can never have too many colorful grading utensils!  I like Papermate Flair Pens and they come in a variety of bright, fun colors.

  1. Stain Remover – I always spill my coffee on my shirt!  I use a quick stain remover, like Shout Wipes or Tide Pen, to clean myself up in a snap!


  1. Travel-Sized Deodorant – The temperature of my classroom is never consistent!  One hour I’m wearing my parka while I teach and the next I’m down to my sweat-stained shirt.  Keeping a stick of deodorant on hand is also helpful on those warm days that I have recess duty.


  1. Cough Drops – For those days when you’re not sick enough to stay home, but still have a scratchy throat.  Also great for the classroom so you don’t have to keep sending students to the nurse’s office during class.
  2. Pain Reliever – It’s hard to teach when you’re head is pounding!  Keep a small bottle stashed in your desk drawer so you can make it through a tough day.



  1. Disinfectant Wipes – Perform a “classroom wipedown” once a week, or more, to prevent nasty illnesses.  I enlist the help of students who thoroughly clean a designated classroom area.


  1. Bandages – No need to send students to the nurse for minor cuts and scrapes.



  1. Thank You Cards – When students or parents pop in with a gift, or when a colleague helps you out, be sure to send them a note of thanks!  I buy mine at the local dollar store.



  1. Snacks – Keep a few healthy snacks tucked away so you aren’t tempted to go to the vending machine.  I like trail mix, jerky, and fruit strips because they won’t spoil.



  1. Reusable Water Bottle – Try to make a point of filling it up a few times a day so you know you are staying hydrated.

A few extra items that could also help you out include K Cups, a Fun Coffee Mug, a To-Do List, Lotion, Mechanical Pencils, Post- its, Kleenex, Gum, a Desk Fan, and a Bluetooth Speaker 

Worried about shelling out your own money?  Ask parents and families to donate items that are for student use, like cough drops, wipes, Post-its, pencils, and bandages!

Check out our Pinterest Board, Teachers: What To Keep at Your Desk, for more and don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new idea we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

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