Teachers are the unsung heroes of life. They teach our kids to be smart and good people, they bandage their boo boos and wipe their noses. Well, depending on the age of your kids. And they spend hundreds of dollars of their own hard-earned money on classroom supplies.

That’s why they need all the help they can get from parents.

Each year on your school supply list you probably see a section at the bottom of the page for suggested items that are helpful to donate on top of what you’re getting for your student.

So I went right to the teachers to find out what they really need.. and what they would rather you not spend your money on.

(These are teachers of grades 2 through 5. Teachers of higher grades would have different needs. If your kids are in those higher grades, I encourage you to reach out to their teachers and ask what they need.)

What Teachers Really Need

1- Tissues

2- Hand Sanitizer

3- Disinfecting Wipes

Do you see a theme here? Keeping our snot nosed kids and their surroundings clean is a full-time job.

4- Glue Sticks

5- Paper

White copy paper and colored construction paper

6- Crayons and Paint

7- Dry Erase Markers

8- Hands on learning games and toys like Play-Doh and Legos

9- Class snacks

Donate To Your School

Donating to your school could help you out too. I recently did some ‘spring cleaning’ on my kids’ book shelves, weeding out what they had outgrown. We ended up with two large bags full of books that I will donate to the school. Even though they are no longer ideal for my kids’ age group, they can be a welcome addition to the school library for younger grades.

And the learning games and toys I mentioned earlier, like Play-Doh and Legos, can also be helpful for different grades.

I would suggest calling your school office or getting in touch with your kids’ teacher and ask if what you have to donate can be useful. While they can use many things, you don’t want to use the school as a Goodwill drop-off for everything you’re getting rid of. But Goodwill is perfect for anything the school doesn’t need.

What They Don’t Need

As far as anything that teachers would not want you to donate, it doesn’t exist. All my teacher friends said it’s ALL helpful and appreciated.

But what I would say is make sure whatever you are sending in for your kid’s specific classroom is grade appropriate. For example, I wouldn’t spend money on mechanical pencils for kindergarteners.

The Free Thing You Can Give That Means The Most

And the one thing you can give your child’s teacher that is completely free and will help the most is… your time. Volunteer for a field trip or school event, offer to help clean or staple papers. And work with your children at home on reading and homework.

Being a partner with your child’s teacher is priceless.


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