1. Super Glue
I didn’t have super glue when I came to college. I really didn’t think I would need it. I had my typical Elmer’s Glue and that was it; all ready for any little project thrown into my lap. WRONG. Imagine yourself throwing together a project at 3am when you haven’t had sleep in 4 days. Do you realllllly want to wait an hour for that Elmer’s Glue to dry? No. Super glue is much more reliable and a time saver!
2. Storage Baggies
The amount of little foam pictures and stickers I had laying across my desk was a mess. Those ziplock baggies helped me keep life organized. I had so many scraps of paper I knew I could use in the future, but I never knew where to store them. A baggie kept it all so organized I even dedicated a drawer of my desk for all my little baggies!
3. Popsicle Sticks
These suckers are great for anything. They hold pieces of paper up, they’re bookmarks, they’re game pieces, their random-selection name callers, they’re the magnet holders, they’re your best friend. And they’re cheap to buy, stable, and easy to use!
4. Construction Paper/Foam Paper
Need a little color in your life? Construction paper is your best friend. You can cut any shape out of it and it will work perfect. Another crafting device I found really nice to use are foam sheets! They’re thicker than construction paper, colorful, and create a clean product. Foam sheets are easy to glue too (especially to your popsicle sticks!)
These wonderful, colorful guys are magic. They work on anything, which is the great part of them. Sure, they might make your dorm smell for the rest of the night, but the beautiful permanency and color of it all will create a great product.
This year, I was super lucky to rooming with an art major. Sometimes I would freeze up because I was doing a project that involved art materials I never even thought about bringing, but she was always there to rescue me. Within 3 days of my first education class, I needed paint. She had it. I didn’t. My suggestion would be to bring the primary colors, black & white! This way, you’re not becoming an art major yourself with all the paint in your dorm, but you do have the opportunity to make any color under the sun!
7. Hole Puncher
Honestly, this device isn’t just for education majors, but I found that education majors use hole punches a lot more than most majors.
Picture this: you’ve been given 3 packets on how to handle classroom discipline, 2 worksheets for rubric outlines, and a TON of papers about creating a lesson plan. Your professor wants that all neat in a binder. Now normally, I would just start pushing the paper onto the rings until they create their own holes that are uneven and messy. But as an upcoming professional, those worksheets need to be neatly tucked away for future use, and THAT’S where your three piece hole puncher comes handy.
8. Access to a Colored Printer
I’m not saying bring your own printer, ink, paper, etc (but if you have the option to, go for it! It’ll make life easier). All I’m saying is know where you can print in color around campus. At my college, only the fashion majors have access to color printers. I cling onto them like glue. To show education professors my best work for children, I need to show them color. Black and white does not suffice the imaginative pieces children can use. Which brings me to my next must-have…
9. An Imagination
I know, this isn’t something physical and it sounds pretty silly, but in order to be a great early childhood education major and future teacher, you need an imagination. You cannot have bland projects and black and white powerpoints. Children need variety, color, and character while being taught. They need funny voices while being read stories, they need songs to help them remember nouns, and they need vibrancy in their lives. Dull is boring, even as an 18 year old.
Yet another one of those “can’t see with your eyes” must needs. Dedication is hands down the most important trait an early childhood education teacher must have. Everything you do for the classroom is time consuming, and I’m starting to realize this is how it is going to be for the next five years at least. Nothing is going to be flat out ready to go. If you do not believe you are the type of person who can put their hard work and time into an idea, work of art, or lesson, then teaching is not going to be a good fit for you. Point blank.
Whether you’re living on campus or living at home, all of these items will save your butt at one point or another. Get use to them and become friends with them, because they will all be your go-to’s in the next four months for the rest of your life.