Jamie Goodwin

A-to-Z Elementary School Student Teaching Necessities

A-to-Z Elementary School Student Teaching Necessities

You wake up in a cold sweat. It’s the first day of student teaching, and you just dreamt that you showed up to school inappropriately dressed and unprepared. What a nightmare! Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep knowing that you’re well-prepared for your first day with these student teaching necessities.

A-to-Z Elementary School Student Teaching Necessities

Aspirin- You don’t have time for sick days, and you need to have plenty of energy for your students. Bring aspirin and other medications that you might need to have on hand.

Binder- Use the binder to start collecting items for your student teaching portfolio.

Clipboard- As you walk around during class, use your clipboard to take notes on your students.

Dry erase markers- If you have a dry erase board in your classroom, come prepared with different colored markers that you can use.

Erasers- Have erasers on hand for students and as a reminder to yourself that mistakes are going to happen. Keep working hard and improving.

Filing boxes- Organization is key. You’re going to need boxes, containers, folders, etc. to help you stay organized throughout your student teaching experience and beyond.

Gradebook- How are you going to keep track of your students’ grades? Have a gradebook on hand to record grades for assignments, activities, assessments, essays, etc.

Highlighters- You never know when you’ll need a highlighter as you do anything from reading lesson materials to grading papers.

Index cards- Index cards are great for taking notes on your students and things that you observe during the day. They also come in handy when you need to leave a note with a student or want to make flashcards for a classroom activity.

Jump Drive- As you travel back and forth from your computer at school to your workplace at home, it’s a good idea to have a jump drive that allows you to back up your files. Then, you can save your lesson plans for a later day.

Kleenex- For those moments when your nose is runny or stuffy, a tissue is helpful to have on hand.

Lanyard- Some schools may provide you with a lanyard for your name tag or key card to access the building. If not, get one that you can wear around your neck throughout the day.

Magnets- Magnets are great for decorating the classroom or holding papers on the board during a lesson.

Notebook- At the beginning of student teaching, you’ll spend time observing your cooperating teacher. Take notes. Also, use the notebook for your daily reflections.

Organizer- An organizer or planner can help you track your schedule. Know when and what you’ll be teaching, as well as, when you’ll be observed.

Pens- You’re going to need plenty of pens on hand to grade papers, write in your planner, take notes on students, and more. Purchase several different colors.

Q-tips– Have a small cosmetic kit on hand with things like Q-tips, nail clippers, extra nylons, or deodorant. Use these things to freshen up before parent-teacher conferences or other after-school activities.

Rubber stamps- Grading papers is a lot more fun with a few different rubber stamps and stickers. Your students will love them!

Sticky notes- From leaving notes for students to creating classroom graphs, there are so many great uses for sticky notes around the classroom.

Timer- For days when it’s difficult to keep your lessons on track, it’s helpful to have a timer. Then, you’ll know when it’s time to move on to the next activity or excuse your students for lunch or recess.

Umbrella- No matter what the weather may be, you should be prepared for recess duty or to take your students to the bus. Have an umbrella, jacket, gloves, sunglasses, and other clothing on hand.

Veggies- Bring plenty of snacks, such as veggies, to provide you with the energy needed to get you through the day. It’s also a good idea to have lunches on hand that you can grab when you need them.

Whistle- Find out how your cooperating teacher calls students in from recess. You may want to get a whistle to alert your students that recess is over.

eXtra scissors- Your students and cooperating teacher should have plenty of supplies on hand. However, consider bringing your own adult-sized scissors that you can use in the classroom.

Yarn- Okay, you may not need yarn. But as an elementary school teacher, you may need to get crafty as you create a bulletin board or make fun projects with your students. Start collecting art supplies to have on hand.

Ziploc bags– Bags of every shape and size come in handy as an elementary school teacher. They’re great for organizing classroom items or sending home things to parents.

As you prepare for the first day of student teaching, don’t forget to gather the student teaching necessities that you’ll need. For other ideas, speak to your cooperating teacher. Find out what he or she would recommend that you have for your first day of class. Good luck!


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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