Preparing for the school year can be daunting, especially if you are just beginning your teaching journey, or if you are switching grade levels or schools. With preparations for the new school year underway, I want to share with you several must-have supplies that I believe should be accessible to teachers and students.
I want to preface this post by saying that I am not advocating that teachers go out and purchase consumable supplies for their classrooms. In any other profession, employees are not expected to supply their own paper, pens, and staples. These are supplies that should be accessible in any school workroom.
If these supplies are not available, talk to your principal about the importance of creating an inclusive environment, and how these items matter. They shouldn't be considered an "extra" only if there are funds available but as essential supplies.
Did you know that there are at least 4,000 different colors in the human rainbow? In 2018, National Geographic featured a project called "Humanae" by photographer Angelica Dass. She photographed 4,000 people in an attempt to document humanity's true colors of skin beyond the "black," "red," "white," and "yellow" that gets associated with race. Crayola has released the Colors of the World Crayons which include 24 skin tone crayons. Let's celebrate the diversity of our classroom and provide a way for our students to make coloring and drawings more detailed and realistic.
This is a must-have for classroom projects. I've walked into my school supply room so many times looking for construction paper that reflects the variety of skin tones of my classroom students, only to find a couple of options. Yet I can find gobs of paper in multiple hues of every color under the sun. Grab a set of SunWorks Shades of Me Multi-Ethnic Construction Paper. The pack has 10 assorted skin tone colored paper. Urge your principal to set aside supply money for more inclusive construction paper.
As a white person, I never thought twice about bandaids matching my skin color. But the reality is that there are very few skin tone bandaid options on the store shelves today. I love that the Tru-Colour brand focuses on providing bandages for everyone. They offer a 4-pack of skin tone bandages. Grab a set and let your students pick one that suits their skin tone. Talk to your school nurse or office about purchasing bandaids that celebrate our students' identity.
Tempera paints are a school staple, but usually, just primary colors are purchased for classrooms or the art supply room. Crayola makes a set of 8 multi-ethnic tempera washable paints. Let's be mindful about providing paint that reflects the diversity of our students.
Do you have other school supplies that you'd like me to add to this list? Comment below and let me know.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links to make it easier for you to find the items shared in this post.