As a teacher and administrator I admit….I had a secret stash of supplies (full disclosure-I still have a stash in my office at the ROE, see image to the right)!

Please note – I am the opposite of a hoarder, I truly am a minimalist; however, these are priceless resources that I often find myself in need of at a whim’s notice.
For example, three weeks ago my colleague asked me if, as a teacher, I had come across anything or had a trick to get items to hang on the wall, without ruining the wall, AND have it stay UP! – Not only did I know of a solution for her (use Mavalus Tape!!) but I had some in my secret stash to lend her. Three weeks later the posters are still hanging! :)•

My husband, being in the business world, never understood the need for my personal stash of supplies. Every time I moved classrooms, or offices, or switched positions he would raz me about my affair with school supplies – but it is so much more than a love of supplies. In my experiences, school supplies were ordered at the beginning of each year and only at the beginning of the year. When you ran out of supplies you then had to provide your own. At various points in my career this went as far as having to provide my own copy paper because our school was out of our supply of paper for the year!!

So, with Halloween upon us I thought I’d fill your treat bag – below are a few of my favorite items I always have on standby in my classroom and office:

• Frixion Erasable Markers – Yes, I said erasable.  They are amazing!! You can completely erase what you wrote with no marks left on the page.


• Post-it Pop-up Dispenser – I use post-its all the time for so many different reasons so having them easily accessible and organized is a top priority – plus they come in countless shapes and sizes for everyone’s personality!




  • Ticonderoga Pencils – I know this sounds ridiculous but these are seriously the best pencils ever!  They come pre-sharpened and are the easiest pencil to sharpen in any pencil sharpener.  I didn’t believe there was a difference between pencil brands until a veteran colleague of mine saw me struggling to sharpen a pencil for one of my students and offered her advice and knowledge – she was a life saver!



• Label Maker – I am a bit of a neat freak so labeling is key to staying organized and filing items away for years to come.  I didn’t know how much I would utilize a label maker until I had one, now I couldn’t survive without one.



Like I said, it’s Halloween, I want to fill your treat bag up a bit, first semester is over and I am sure your secret stash can use a few new additions….SO I will be giving away a few special gifts to my faithful readers….the first 5 educators to email me ( acknowledging that they read this post will receive a special gift from the ROE!
[UPDATE] All 5 of the recipients will be disclosed in my next blog post. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Happy Halloween!!   



Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

Leave a Reply