Teacher Must Haves for Back to School (2020 Edition)

The new school year is just around the corner, are you ready? Teachers are usually bustling around gathering items for the classroom, but what about you? I have put together a list of teacher must haves for back to school (2020 edition).


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Teachers spend hours in the classroom, so it is important to have a few things that will make your life as a teacher more comfortable. I have put together a list of 7 teacher must haves for back to school that will make your life more pleasant in the classroom. You may not agree with everything on this list, but maybe you will walk away with an idea or two.

1. Teacher Bag

Finding a good teacher bag is personal. Everyone has different styles; backpack, over the shoulder, tote, etc. I usually get a new bag each year just to change things up. It’s kind of like back to school shopping for me. Currently, I am enjoying backpacks. This backpack is my current favorite. It fits my laptop, teacher binder, has many useful pockets, and a charging port!


2. Water Bottle

Staying hydrated throughout the day is very important. Having a good water bottle to keep your beverage cold is essential. My favorite is the Klean Kanteen TKWide. I love the there are interchangeable caps. I usually bring Kanteen for coffee with the cafe lid, and another one for water with the chug top. There is also a straw option that I throw in once in a while.


3. Pens

Teachers love a good set of pens. I have erasable pens for lesson planning, Flair pens for list making and Mr. Sketch markers for making anchor charts. A teacher can never have too many pens!


4. Baskets

Having baskets in the classroom make it seem more like a home to me. When I say baskets, I don’t mean the plastic ones. We all probably have plastic ones, and they are great for durability. But, I like to sprinkle a few wicker and canvas baskets around the room for special items. The one I use, I have had for years. It makes my classroom feel a little more like home. I always keep a basket next to my chair with books I will be reading aloud that week.


5. Lanyard

If you are a teacher, you probably have a lanyard. It holds all of our necessary items. I found this cute lanyard on Etsy, from OhSoJoDesigns. There are so many cute charms that you can attach to your lanyard. .In addition to keys, id badge, copy key, and charms I have a travel-sized hand sanitizer attached to mine. You never know when you will need a squirt.


6. Teacher Board

Since a classroom is like a second home for teachers, it is important to have a dedicated space for pictures and other sentimental memorabilia. It doesn’t have to be large, but it is a nice touch. Your students will love to have a glimpse into your life outside of school. I have this board that works with magnets and pushpins. I absolutely love it!


7. A Teacher Toolbox

A teacher toolbox is a container filled with your choice with a few necessities that can be tucked away in your teacher desk or bag. Some of the travel size items that I keep in my teacher toolbox are:

  • deodorant
  • toothbrush and
  • dental floss
  • Tide to Go Sticks (for quick stain removal)
  • feminine products
  • ibuprofin
  • chapstick
  • chocolate

There you have it, my list of teacher must haves for back to school. Is there anything you would add? Let me know, I would love your ideas.


  1. Great list! I’m totally going to check out the lanyards. That one is so cute! I really like the ThermoFlask (generic Hydroflask?) bottles from Costco. They will literally keep ice water for days!

  2. Raquelita says:

    This list speaks so fully to my teacher heart… Having a good lanyard totally is important for the school year because you have to wear it every day, so it needs to be comfortable, save and might as well bring you a little joy just by being beautiful…

  3. Thank you for this list! The water bottle and teacher toolkit will really come in handy, especially during the lectures.

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