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Supplies for September: What do I need?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by MissAddysgGrefyddol, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. MissAddysgGrefyddol

    MissAddysgGrefyddol New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm beginning my PGCE in Secondary Religious Education at Exeter in September. Has anyone got any advice on what to buy beforehand (e.g. and specific books, stationary supplies etc.)?

    I'm especially wondering if anyone has any advice on what to buy for placements? Will I need anything different to what I have already got from doing my BA (staplers, hole punches, files etc.)?

    Also, has anyone got any tips on dressing 'like a teacher'?

    Thanks :)
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Buy nothing - go digital as much as possible (ebooks from uni library, all evidence will probably need to be uploaded to website somewhere so don't bother will loads of folders). School will have a preferred pen colour system, such as you writing in green and kids responding in purple, etc., so school will provide all these colours.

    Dress - see what others wear at school. Smart on first day to get the feel of it, adapt from there.

    Good luck!
    wanet likes this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But if you like all the lovely pen colours and pencil cases and pretty bits and bobs in the shops at this time of year then do get kitted out with a lovely pencil case.
    School will provide (probably) but the quality may be less than you prefer.

    Or you might just be a bit of a stationery freak like me and want your own stuff. ;)
    1 person likes this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Miss A

    You are very wise to ask for advice on what to wear as a teacher. Firstly, always follow the school's dress code.

    You are a student teacher, so you will be on a budget, so I suggest you invest in a three piece suit: a pair of matching trousers, skirt and jacket either in black, grey or navy. This will be your capsule wardrobe. If you choose grey for example, buy one other pair of trousers in black. Don't buy the cheapest, but you don't have tombuy the most expensive. Aim for something in between. Next buy a variety of blouses, tops, and cardigans to go with the bottom pieces. Vary the outfits with different scarves, belts and jewellery.

    Buy tops that are easy to iron and wash as you don't have time to fluff about but you need to ensure you look smart every day.

    For shoes, buy one pair of boots and one pair of classic court shoes as you will be on your feet the entire day and buy for quality and comfort.

    Never wear anything to short or revealing. Most short skirts look good on very petite people and schools are not the place for them despite their recent revival. You don't need to look like a Granny either. Pick a modern look, but don't dress like one of the A level students.

    Ensure your hair and makeup looks attractive. Wear discreet makeup.

    Never, ever wear jeans, sandals apart from dress ones in the summer, leggings, crop tops, glittery tops, or anything sheer.

    Like it or not, your students will make a judgement on you by what you wear and your appearance in general. If you take care with your appearance, you will also feel more confident. Don't feel though you have to spend loads of money on clothes. Get your basic suit and you can pick up tops up on sale and in charity shops. Only buy things if you can wear it with your basic three pieces. In addition to the jacket also have one classic style cardigan.

    On the weekends, wash and iron your clothes and pick your outfit out each evening before you to to bed. That way you will not to have to spend time in the morning thinking about what to wear. Pack your bag and lunch the night before also.

    You will need a bags to carry all your things around in. Bags from shops can be used to carry students' books home in. Some people use trolley suitcases to carry their supplies around from class to class.

    To save money, always take your lunch and ensure you pack a big lunch since you will be working hard and need loads of energy. Do not fall into the trap of not eating in the day because you are too busy. Take a flask for the times where you want to save a few minutes.

    If you buy a slow cooker you can make your meals in the morning and not worry about cooking when you get home.

    Ask your course provider for their reading list and ask them to mark the essential ones you have to read. If I were you I would buy or borrow one book on behaviour management and also a book called Craft of the Classroom. The book on behaviour I recommend is Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Did and anything by Bill Rogers. The book by Paul Dix is the one I would start with.

    The school will provide all your stationery apart from anything special you want. The one problem you may have, however, is where students arrive without equipment. You may want to have a few spares of things with you BUT ensure you label anything you loan out and it is returned. I know it is time consuming to label a few pens and pencils, but if they are labelled. It is easier to identify them and get them back.

    Trust you enjoy your course and try to ensure you pace yourself and get enough rest and food.
    bevdex and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Sorry, the author is Paul Dix.
  6. AngelEd22

    AngelEd22 New commenter

    Get yourself down to the charity shop and buy yourself some smart tops for £1.99. Seriously, you don't need to be spending tons of money on clothes, because they get absolutely trashed anyway. I haven't got a clue where my placement is going to be yet, but if they have a problem with me wearing stuff out of charity shops, they can kiss my ass. :)
  7. AngelEd22

    AngelEd22 New commenter

    Oh and definitely buy your own stuff. The pound shop is my best friend. Schools and Colleges have stretched budgets these days, they will provide everything, but there will be times when Mr Jones or Mrs Smith needs the stationary and resources more than you do, so you should come prepared with your own arsenal. I can buy 20 pens for £1, 20 pencils for £1 and 3 A4 notepads for £1 and just about anything else you need incredibly cheap. This means that when Student A forgets their pen every lesson, at least they can get their work done. Plus I can make pen holders out of cardboard and cellotape to stick on their folders to put the pens in so they will always have one.
  8. exploration

    exploration New commenter

    I can't say I encountered school giving me stationery that I needed. Unless you want to fumble around failing whiteboard markers and finding the odd lidless pen that's running out to the pupil who forgot theirs. I didn't carry much - I had my own pencil case with a couple of black pens, my whiteboard markers, rubber, couple of pencils, pencil sharpener. I never gave out my stationery without taking something of the pupil's as insurance e.g. their planner, their phone. Often times in that regard they wouldn't want to give them up and got another pupil to give it to them haha. I never lost a pen, though left behind a whiteboard marker all the time, but I always went back for it. This sounds extreme, but all teachers guard their stationery and don't want to lose it.
  9. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    No your school should be providing the stationary, not you!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    Argh - my pet hate, teachers buying stuff for schools. Why do teachers continue to do this?
    wanet likes this.
  11. GoGoTeacherArms

    GoGoTeacherArms Occasional commenter

    Ibuprofen! You never know when you might need it... a classroom full of kids is the worst environment in which to have a headache!
    bevdex, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    In addition to my earlier post, I forgot to mention one of the essentials: pocket tissues. They are handy for wiping up spills, runny noses, wiping the board in an emergency when you cannot find board wiper, nose bleeds etc.

    Poundland do a pack of 15. I carry them on supply, but if you are in the same room, you could just buy a box of tissues, but definitely have tissues and even wet wipes.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Antibacterial handgel. Kids are germy wee darlings and you need to minimise the risk of catching everything going.
    bevdex, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  14. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Seriously, don't sweat about insignificant things such as stationary. Play it by ear. Don't buy a load of stuff that you *might* need. Buy things when you need them.

    On dresscodes, turn up smart. You can always subsequently dress down if appropriate.
    pepper5, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Can't add anything to the excellent advice already given.
    Just Good Luck!
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. snail_friendly

    snail_friendly Occasional commenter

    As a self-proclaimed addict of all things stationery I would want to have a little supply of things to make sure I felt prepared. My suggestion would be to pop to Poundland and buy a small, inexpensive, selection including a handy carry case to keep it all in. In my department we each have a toolbox (literally). You can buy a small one of these in Poundland (they are great as they have compartments and a handle!)

    Things to keep in it:
    pens / pencils / rubbers / rulers / sharpeners for student lends
    Highlighter pens
    Whiteboard pens
    Postit Notes
    A few pink / red / green pens (each school will have their own marking policy on what colour pen you should use)
    Glue stick, stapler and scissors for your use

    Everything else such as colours, scissors, glue for students the school will have.

    Enjoy ;)
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  17. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The other thing always to have to hand is paper - lined paper and plain paper. Ensure you get this from the school and carry 35 sheets o each. The paper is for emergencies and when one or students don't have their books. You can't depend on classrooms having paper. When you are observed you will appear super organised and make a good impression. It also takes away the hassle of searching for paper.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. happypug

    happypug New commenter

    I'm also going to be starting a PGCE in September and on my induction day last year's trainees did a presentation about what to expect, which was really handy. They advised us to get a guillotine, laminator and one of those clickers you can use to move PowerPoint presentations forward so that you can move around the room and not stand next to the computer all the time.

    My teacher friend bought me a pack of stationery supplies for my birthday, including pens and pencils for those pupils who forget and board markers so that I'm not looking around for someone else's as they sometimes seem to go missing or be running out. She also put a big bag of haribo in there (that I've somehow managed not to consume in my nervousness!) that I can use for prizes.
    TheGentleman, balvert and pepper5 like this.
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I must have done something wrong expecting all of this to be paid for by the school, but they did!
  20. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Well done on starting your PGCE in September - just a few days now.

    I don't know what your tutors' views on giving sweets to children will be, but some may tutors frown upon it.

    My own view is that sweets are not the best prize to give since students normally are eating too many sweets and if I give them sweets, then that is even more sugar they are consuming. Also, you may find the parents don't want their kids to have sweets because of the problem with dental issues or other concerns.

    I don't know what age group you are teaching, but some other prizes could be post cards home or extra free time on the computer, or playing educational games. You could also make certificates since you have a laminator and guillotine- two very useful pieces of kit which you will definitely use.

    All the best for September.
    happypug likes this.

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