Supplies for the new college instructor

I have about two Mondays left until the beginning of the school year, and naturally, I’m in “school supply shopping” mode. When I was a child, I used to drag my mom to Walmart to go shopping for school supplies.  It was my favorite time of year, and nothing filled me with more joy than buying new mechanical pencils, notebooks, and highlighters.  This year, I need to go shopping for school supplies, but for a different reason.  I’ll be the teacher this time.  As the school year approaches, I’ve been thinking about what I might need to buy as a new college instructor.

Here’s a list of what I’ve come up with so far!


A messenger bag or briefcase for carrying papers, your laptop, and other classroom essentials. (I plan to get a nice leather briefcase so I can finally live out my dream of looking like a Cambridge professor)

Expandable file folder to keep papers separate, especially if you’re teaching multiple sections or courses

Planner or appointment notebook.  I plan to continue using my Bullet Journal, although I’ll definitely need to find a new system to accommodate my new schedule.  If you’re into Bullet Journaling, I recommend either a Rhodia Dotted WebNotebook, or a Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dotted notebook (I have the latter).  Otherwise, go nuts.  But you’ll definitely need one.  I already have meetings to pencil in.

Gradebook.  Although most of the grades will be posted online, I had a professor who insisted upon copying grades into a paper gradebook, in case the university’s system should go down.  Also, it’s just good to have on hand.

Post-it tabs + notes.  Thank me later.

For the office

If you can swing it, a filing cabinet.
Pencil/pen holder containing spare pens, pencils, dry erase markers, binder clips, and paper clips.
An electric kettle for all the pour-over coffee you’ll be making.
A spare computer charger + HDMI cables if you’re so inclined.
Wall calendar (or any calendar to keep in your office).
Books + some organizational/storage item
Any other knickknacks

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but a list that I think can be a great place to start for a new college instructor.  I may update this in the next few weeks, or maybe at the end of the semester.

If you have any other suggestions of items to buy, please let me know!  In the meantime, I will be hunting for a nice calendar at Target.

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