Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest Post - Top 10: Back to School Essentials for Students

Back to School...

The advent of school summer holidays necessarily means that September also creeps ever closer. Soon parents and teachers will be thinking about educational supplies. Students, too, will be deciding which new items of school stationary, and maybe art supplies, will be required for the academic year ahead.

Here, not necessarily in order of priority, is a checklist of essential items of school equipment for students:

1. Erasers - It is always best to buy a selection of good-quality erasers. Cheap ones just leave marks. Soft vinyl erasers are clean and very accurate to use. Remember, poster putty can also be used as a versatile and effective eraser.

2. Pencil sharpener – With some pencil sharpeners you can see the pencil tip as you sharpen, which really helps. A double sharpener is really useful too. Keeping blades clean will help them stay sharp and thus prolong the life of your sharpener.

3. Pencils and pens – Essential, of course, and some subjects will definitely have specific requirements. Buy good-quality items and build up your collection as you go.

4. Mathematics Scientific Calculator – Ensure you know the basic calculator functions and specifications your school would recommend. Then, go for a decent quality calculator with a good display and a robust outer case. Do not be tempted to go for increased specifications – some models are banned from exam rooms.

5. Ruler – A basic non-slip aluminum/plastic type ruler, which is see-through, is a good general buy, unless there are more specific requirements.

6. Pocket Dictionary – If there is no school recommendation, go for a recognized academic brand. ‘Pocket’ is a flexible description. Get the best workable trade-off between portability and function.

7. General Pencil Case – This will need to be substantial enough to contain the present collection of writing implements, with some room for expansion as the academic year progresses. The zip, or other fastening mechanism, should be sufficiently robust to withstand the rigorous of school life. A special clear plastic case will also be needed for exams.

8. Lever Arch Files – Think carefully about your needs and buy accordingly. Large volume types may not be very portable; some see-through types may be handy but too fragile to be practical.

9. Punched Pockets – You can never have enough of these useful items to preserve and display work, so buy plenty. There are different qualities available. The very flimsy types may not be durable enough for all student purposes.

10. Academic Diary – An essential organizer for projects, homework and for noting lesson requirements. Schools may specify particular sizes or brands. Otherwise, go for an A5 day-to-a-page type. There is always a wide choice of patterns and styles.

Heads of department and teaching staff will have collated orders for educational supplies in good time, ready for the new term. Likewise, arriving back at school with the all the necessary school stationary and equipment is a basic requirement for all students. This signals they are primed, focused and ready to engage in learning. If a class of students are ready to do this, the teacher-pupil relationship gets off to a flying start with everyone prepared to give their very best. Without distractions or hold-ups, teacher contact time can be used to address immediate subject priorities and promote a purposeful learning environment, maximizing the educational benefits for all students.

Article written by Christy Westwood.

Disclosure: I received no form of compensation for this publication. 

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