Welp. It’s here. I start back to school this week, and the kids start next week. Here’s my face right now.
If you know anything about me, you know I love my job. With a passion. But I don’t love getting up at 6:00 in the morning. And I don’t like teenagers. #themsjustjokes
High School Help
But here’s the thing. if you search the ol’ internets, Pinterest, Facebook groups, etc. you are bound to get allll kinds of help when it comes to elementary years. “How to choose the right teacher”, “How to help your student at home”, “How you can find the right supply lists for your student”…and on and on and on. And on.
So I’m going to devote this week to your high school student. To you–the high school mom and/or dad. So much support is lost in those secondary years, ya know? Parents don’t know how to help their kids, and kids are struggling with how much to ask for help. They want their independence, but they’re still so intimidated by reaching out for support. It’s a shame, really.
Essential Back to School Supplies
I’m keeping it light today. The thing about the high school classroom is that there is so much variation. One teacher wants a very specific computerized graphing calculator; another wants nothing but a stick of glue for their class (what class is that and how do I teach it?) How do you know??
I’ll keep the list rather general. In other words, what should every student have in high school–regardless of what classes he/she has. What are some things you should purchase before the first day of school…those types of things.
Duh…sort of. It seems like a basic concept, but you’d be surprised how many kids still write in PINK pens (are you trying to make me go blind??). Wanna know which pencils kids love?
- Mechanical Pencils. I would recommend buying about 57,200 of these. Maybe more. They WILL lose them, and/or every classmate within a 3-mile radius will ask if they have one. The 57K should last him/her until December. Ish.
- Ticonderoga Graphite Pencils. This seems a little high maintenance to me, but they do work really well. They’re pricier than others, so if your kid can hang onto them, it’s worth the investment.
- Polymer Erasers. Nothing works as well on mechanical pencils like these. I buy them and keep them on hand for kids. We all recommend. 😉
For the love of all that is good. Please get your kids highlighters for back to school. Please make them have them with them at all times. The thing about high school is we are constantly teaching about evidence, details, research, support–in all subjects.
- Chisel Highlighters. Let’s be clear. Most of what we read after elementary school is pretty small print. Those big, fat highlighters really don’t narrow down information as well. Definitely go with the smaller, pen-like highlighter.
- Retractable Highlighters. Wanna go a step up? Choose retractable so they won’t lose the caps. And so they’re drive their teachers into early retirement because they just can’t stop pushing the button.
- Pen Highlighter Combo. “All the cool kids are doing it” award goes to the pen and highlighter in one. It’s not necessary, but it does cut down on too many utensils out at one time when researching.
So many classes require a binder. It’s our goal as teachers to get your kids as prepared as possible for the workforce, and organization is the key.
- 3-ring Binders. Not much to say here except make sure you don’t skimp out and get the cheapest ones. They just won’t hold up, and you’ll spend more money. Secondly, be sure to buy multiple colors. They will always bring the wrong binder to class if it’s not quickly color coded for them.
- Tab Dividers. You don’t need anything excessive here. 5-8 tabs in a package is fine. And you can get them super cheap if you need a bunch of them!
When I went to high school, the one thing that could guarantee you getting beat up was to carry a pencil pouch. Times sure have changed, eh? 😐
- This pencil pouch tends to be pretty popular with most kids right now. However, it has to be carried separately and runs a little smaller.
- This pencil pouch is great because it fits right into their binder. They can carry it separately if needed.
- Also…some girls just bring makeup bags if the pencil pouches aren’t cute enough for them. Ain’t that the truth, girls? Plus, makeup bags have a better liner in case something leaks.
I know I said this would be the essentials list, but there are some things that will serve uselful to your student if he/she has them.
- Brown paper bags are pretty much the thing for high school lunches. Some girls bring cute bags, but kids just want to dispose. These paper bags are nice because they fit enough food to eat after school if they need a snack too!
- Black or blue pen. This is a personal preference. It’s always nice to have a pen in case it’s needed.
- Notebooks–nothing bulky–single subject. I didn’t place these in the list above simply because most teachers provide paper. I actually prefer students to use my paper so they are all uniform when I’m grading. However, it’s good to have a couple at school just in case.
So there you have it! A comprehensive list of back-to-school essentials from a high school teacher! FYI, backpacks could really be a whole other post. There’s just so much personal preference, so happy shopping with that one. 🙂