Over the years I have assembled a variety of back to school teacher kits to give to my children’s new teachers on the first day of school. I usually make teacher emergency kits. This year I deviated slightly and filled pencil boxes with items for re-stocking a teacher’s desk rather than a little pouch a teacher might keep in his/her teacher bag.
The kits are always a little different, but the contents are based on items I need at school but don’t always have. For this version, I added items I like to have to keep class running smoothly. It’s things I use to grade papers or hang items on the walls or boards. I still included a few personal items like chapstick and Tylenol, but the focus of the kit is classroom supplies that a school might not supply to its teachers.
Back to School Kit Contents
You can use any kind of bag, pouch, or box for the contents. I have used plastic bead boxes from Michael’s crafts or make-up bags from a store like Bed Bath & Beyond. If I am really in a crafty mood, I sew small pouches. This year, I used a type of student pencil box with a tray insert for two layers that I purchased at Staples.
Below is what I included in the kits this time. I wanted to include packing tape and Astrobright paper too, but they wouldn’t fit in the pencil box! You could also consider adding things like a good Flair pen or Sharpie pen, travel sized lotion, Advil or Tylenol, mini Windex wipes for electronics (I have seen these at Target), a Tide to Go pen… I browse the travel-sized aisle at places like CVS and Target for inspiration.
Expo markers in assorted colors
Pilot G-2 ballpoint pens in assorted colors
Frixion erasable highlighters in assorted colors
Heavy duty clip magnets
Wite-out EZcorrect tape
Command hanging strips
Disinfectant wipes for cleaning surfaces
Assorted Post-it notes
Staples and Starbucks gift cards
To get more inspiration for Back to School Teacher Kits, take a look at some of mine from previous years by clicking the links below. You could also opt for a shared teacher appreciation gift like this SOFT DRINK BAR that I set up in the teacher workroom during teacher appreciation week.
I cannot believe I am already preparing to go back to school, but I know it is right around the corner. I have been thinking about this little gift for awhile. It is something I would like a parent of one of my students to give me on the first day of school. Once teachers arrive at school, it is almost impossible to leave the building until after the students leave. There are days when you need a little something from CVS and there is no way to get there. I thought my children’s teachers might appreciate this little Teacher Emergency Kit; I know I would.
The Box: I purchased a few bead storage boxes from Michael’s. It has ten slots with removable dividers. I removed a few of the dividers to make one section of the box bigger.
The Contents: I chose the contents based on things I need when I am teaching. Below is the suggested list, but I also considered adding things like Band-aids, a good red pen, hair bands or a clippy, Tums, and even a feminine product or two since my children have female teachers this year (but the box was clear, and I thought that might have the potential for an embarrassing situation– although not having that item can create an embarrassing situation too, so you decide).
soda money (quarters)
travel toothbrush and toothpaste
Aquaphor (or ChapStick of some kind)
Sharpie pen (I always need one of these at odd times and never have one in my classroom)
The Labels: I printed a 2″x 4″ label for the lid of the box using the Red Cross logo to make it look like an emergency kit. I created a table for the inside of the box and printed it on cardstock. Using a paper cutter, I cut it down to fit the inside lid and attached it with clear tape. I wanted the “map” on the inside to look like one of those lists they have in the big chocolate candy boxes, so you know what kind of chocolate you are eating. Here is a copy of the teacher emergency kit map.
Footnote: I did a little Pinterest research, and (big gasp) I am not the only one with the Teacher Emergency Kit idea. After analyzing my competition, I noticed a few flaws with the other kits’ contents. They often contain colorful paper clips or Starburst candies or things that make the packaging look better, but these items are not that useful. A Starburst is not going to make my breath better after I eat garlic-y hummus for lunch. I don’t need colorful paper clips; I can get a whole box of paper clips in the supply cabinet next to my school’s copy machine. When you fill your emergency kit, think about items that a teacher would not be able to access in a school building and might desperately need.