Disclosure: Many thanks to Great Clips for sponsoring today’s post, but my love for supporting teachers is all my own!
Ahhhh—can you hear that? It’s the sound of August approaching! This is the time of year I go to the store and fill my shopping basket with boxes upon boxes of crayons, colored pencils, paper, markers… and so, so much more. The looks I get from other shoppers and the checkout staff are always priceless. This year marks my 10th year as a teacher, my 8th year as a junior high school teacher, and what seems like the millionth time I’ll trek to the store and buy mounds of supplies for my classroom. Having seen kids struggle with the transition to junior high again and again, I thought today I’d share some ideas for Back-to-School must have supplies and organization tips for older kids and teens, plus a way you can help transform classrooms around the nation and give them the much-needed supplies they need, thanks to Great Clips and their partnership with Adoptaclassroom.org.
In just two short weeks, kids and teachers around here will head back to school, including myself. It’s a little sad and bittersweet—I can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by! One thing I’m excited for though? Back-to-school supply sales! I know some people mourn the passing of summer when back-to-school supplies appear at stores, but I get super excited.
Why’s that, you might ask? Did you know that the average teacher spends $1,000 per year on supplies for their classroom? The sales that appear this time of year are the only way I can afford to provide the much needed paper, pencils, erasers, and more that I need for my students. It truly can be a struggle sometimes to have everything I want and need for my kids.
Sure, my school is great at supplying things like desks, computers, and technology to teach with… but in today’s world, sometimes school budgets get stretched thin. Things like paper and pencils have to come out of the teachers’ pockets. Add in extras like rewards and incentives, and providing for my classroom can be tough.
I’ll never forget the first year I started teaching. I was hired three days before the school year started. I walked into my classroom, and was met with… NOTHING. I had a teacher’s desk and computer, desks and chairs for my kids, and not much else. I must have spent at least $500 in just two days on just the bare essentials I needed to start my room.
Luckily, this summer, you can help teachers all over the nation who might find themselves in this same situation, thanks to Great Clips.
Great Clips has over 3,300 salons all over the United States and Canada, and their stylists connect with families and kids on a daily basis. Since Great Clips is all about GREAT, they wanted to team up with an organization that can help deserving teachers while giving their customers—families– a place to address their back to school needs.
Check out this video to see how Great Clips and Adopt a Classroom have already helped two teachers receive their dream classrooms full of much-needed supplies! It definitely brought a tear to this teacher’s eye to see deserving educators get the classrooms of their dreams.
Here’s where you come in: to help more classrooms across the U.S. and Canada, visit the Great Clips website and download the Great Clips Check-In App. The app allows you to add your name to the waiting list at your local Great Clips store—saving you time. Check-in on the app before you arrive to cut down on your waiting time at the salon.
For every download of the Great Clips Check-in App, Great Clips will make a donation to Adoptaclassroom.org, to help make teachers’ wish lists a reality.
In addition, you can also visit the Great Clips site and upload YOUR school supply wish list. Each day, winners will be chosen to receive their ENTIRE supply wish list (up to a $100 value). Entrants will also receive a $2 off coupon to use on their next Great Clips visit (one coupon per customer for the first list you upload).
What should you add to your list?
Funny you should ask—I might know a thing or two when it comes to what teachers want your student to have.
From what I’ve seen, organization is the number one downfall of most students who transition to junior high. These supplies are perfect for any child from 4th grade and above, to teach them simple ways to stay organized. Getting them started at a young age will prepare them for success in junior high, high school, and beyond.
Here are my top Must-Have School Supplies:
1. Three Ring Binder with divider tabs for each subject
A three-ring binder is a must to keep your teen organized. Filing papers in separate folders can get messy, and lets papers get lost (Which folder did I put it in again?). One binder with tabs for each subject keeps everything in one place—much easier to find.
Divider tabs for each subject are super important, too! If your student switches teachers for every class, it might be helpful to arrange these tabs according to their daily schedule.
Pro-tip: Teach your child to keep their homework as the first paper behind the tab (for each subject). No more looking through page after page!
2. Pencil Pouch
A pencil pouch with three ring holes is the perfect way to keep supplies in one place. When your child gets to class, all they have to do is take out their binder, and presto! They’ve got everything on hand and ready to go.
Pro Tip: Make sure your student is filing their papers each night. A quick five minutes of organization each night will help keep things in their place.
3. Pencils (at least 2!)
4. Black or Blue Pens (at least 2!)
Pencils and pens are a given—but make sure your child has at least two on hand at all times! If one breaks or runs out of ink, your student will have a backup.
Highlighters are great for going through notes, which your child should do at the end of each day. Just ten minutes of review each night helps retain the day’s lesson so much better.
6. Red Pen
Red pens are necessary for editing writing, correcting papers, and adding extra info to notes. With the changing emphasis in schools towards writing, a red pen (or another color) is essential.
7. Filler Paper
Choose college-ruled filler paper for older students. Take it from this teacher–spiral notebook paper drives us batty! (It leaves behind confetti–and not the fun kind!) Plus, filler paper can be added to the back of the 3-ring binder, again keeping everything in ONE place.
Other handy supplies include colored pencils, a mini-stapler, index cards, a glue stick, a large eraser, paper reinforcement stickers, and a hole-punch. These aren’t necessary, but they will definitely help your student’s day run smoother.
Pro tip: Keep a couple sheets of “donut” page reinforcements in your student’s pencil pouch to easily fix torn papers.
Now that you know what your student will need, head over to the Great Clips site and upload your list for your chance to win. While you’re there, download the Great Clips Check-In App and help teachers (and students) in need all over the U.S. and Canada! Your generosity will be SO appreciated.