It’s back to school for kids and teachers, and if my budget allows, I like to create a teacher survival kit to gift them before the first day. Some years I can create a supply basket; other years, it is a simple note with a $10 Target or Starbucks gift card. When I wrote this post, I only had one child in school. Now with three, I cannot make three baskets, but I can write a welcome-back note and pair it with something simple. Teachers are not expecting anything, so little gestures go a long way.
How I got the idea
Last week as my boys and I were shopping for back-to-school supplies, I found myself daydreaming about how fun the paperclips and new color selection of PaperMate pens – none of which I needed but would make terrific teacher survival kit ideas.
And that is when it hit me! I placed a few teacher supplies in a basket and included a simple note for the new teacher saying, thank you for caring for my Kindergartener this year. I appreciate all you do. And that’s all I needed! A little something to help begin the new school year with a smile.
RELATED: Back to school? You will love our back-to-school book list!
Why we make a teacher survival basket
And after buying two boxes of extra-large crayons, ten Elmer’s glue sticks, and three oversized pencils (along with countless amounts of tissues and hand sanitizer), I get it.
How can we possibly add one more thing to the cart?
I spent August’s budget on school supplies, and so did my child’s teacher.
I can guarantee that my child’s teacher has buckled her five-month-old into the car seat dozens of times, driving back and forth to Target in preparation for her new school year ahead.
RELATED: Have a child with a food allergy? I wrote this back to school with a food allergy guide to help.
And here’s the thing about back to school.
No matter if it was my third year teaching or my 13th year teaching, one thing was for sure. Sharpies bring me joy like the thrill of Christmas morning.
RELATED: Check out these back-to-school activities for the first day!
Teachers are coming fresh off a few weeks of family time, maybe a quick vacation, and a summer filled with a better understanding of the new curriculum the district has decided to implement.
Teachers head back to school with a lot to do:
- Drop own children at childcare
- Clean the classroom
- Arrange desks and furniture
- Write names on 152 folders. – estimated amount based on experience
- Review 504 plans
- Think about classroom strategies to put in place
- Plan for the first week of school
- Begin to think about the following 170 days of school and what items are needed to feel successful.
- Attend countless meetings
- Prepare for the open house
Oy! it is a never-ending to-do list.
Surprises for teachers
As a former teacher, I always appreciated these small gestures from families at the start of a school year. Here are my five favorite supplies that teachers enjoy.
Remember, a small back-to-school gesture goes a long way. Whether it is a handwritten note or $5 for morning coffee, educators will appreciate it.
Days with Grey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
Starting with a teacher favorite! These Flair Pens are great for writing feedback. They very literally make teachers smile.
Similar to Paper Mate Pens, Sharpie markets are also a pretty great gift that teachers enjoy.
Starbucks Gift Cards
This four pack is great to gift a little at a time over the years. One $10 card gets a teacher a treat or two before heading into work. I am here for that!
Post-it notes are another easy way to bring a little joy to a teacher’s desk. Grab this pack to gift your teacher on the first week of school.
Dry Erase Pockets
These are great for teachers to give to kids so they can make less copies. Children use a dry erase marker to choose the answers they are looking for.
Which will you include in your teacher’s survival kit?
RELATED: Many items teachers love are listed on our supply list here.
Empower your child with skills to thrive.
24 low-prep activities and relatable conversation starters that equip kids for life.
- Order the easy-to-follow activity cards.
- Build the foundation for social-emotional learning.
- Notice a shift in self-confidence and self-regulation as you and your child implement what you practice.