The first year I taught third grade, I had a boy in my class who was – how to put this accurately? – kind of a spazz. He had the kindest soul and he wanted so badly to succeed, but his mind constantly wandered to places that I'd bet were far more interesting than anything I could dream up. He felt everything deeply and as hard as he tried, his body refused to sit still. He needed a lot of hand-holding to live up to his full potential, and I worked closely with him to overcome certain obstacles.
The boy who other teachers saw as a challenge wound up being an incredible blessing in my classroom. You see, he had parents who were devoted and determined to see our pupils shine. Any support that I needed, they were there to provide – an extra hand with grading, supplies that I couldn't afford, helpful bodies to lean on administration in critical areas.
The very first day, the boy's mom made a point to bring in a box full of supplies and offered up the best advice I received all year: “Don't keep all of your supplies out. Stash this away for later because there will come a day, mid-year, when EVERYTHING will run out at the exact same time and you'll need backup.”
It was such a smart, sweet gesture that I totally stole the idea and have been using it with teachers I know ever since. I like to create a “Classroom Survival Kit” and fill it with all of the products that came in handy back when I led the room. Craft items, paper, cleaning supplies, tissues – sometimes I'll even throw in a gift card when I can afford it. I make sure that every product is kid-friendly, especially the cleaning supplies: plant-based, bleach-free options are essential.
My favorite new item to include are these Angel Soft tissue soft packs. They feature water-resistant packaging that stands up to abuse from kids so they can be tossed around the classroom at craft time, lunch, you name it. They also have stylish designs to match whatever decor theme teachers have going on, if you want to get ALL matchy.
The in-home pack has the same number of sheets as an Angel Soft medium flat carton, and the on-the-go packs have seven times as many sheets as a typical facial tissue pack. Best of all, the soft packaging is flexible so it can be shoved in a box for gifting or stashed in a closet or drawer.