If School Supplies Were Given the End-of-the-Year Awards They Deserve

underrated school supplies

As summer 2020 approached, teachers packed away their classrooms into cabinets and boxes, clicking off the lights in classrooms that had been empty for months. From the stub of the last number 2 pencil to the sacred bottle of hand sanitizer, all the supplies that were hard at work until the lockdown were unceremoniously stuffed away, their quiet, faithful labor long forgotten.

What if we took them out of hiding, just for a few minutes, and gave them the recognition they deserve? Here are some long-overdue awards for our overworked, underrated school supplies…

Please Note: At publishing time, no pencils reported for the ceremony, though they had been voted 2 awards: Most Versatile on account of having been used as darts to throw into the ceiling, tools for poking one’s neighbor, and excuses to go to one’s locker, and Most Likely to Disappear (for obvious reasons). And even though the copier was present, no reward was allotted to her, on the universal agreement that the copier was “just the worst”.

Students’ Choice Award — The Last Decent Pair of Scissors

Although hotly contested by the last bottle of liquid glue that still opens, the students have chosen the last decent pair of scissors to receive this award. Thank you, scissors with large finger holes, sharp blades, and no writing on them, for motivating students to race and brawl over you come craft time. Somehow, no one usually gets stabbed, which we can only attribute to the fact that you, perfect scissors, are just the best.

Red Scissors Near Green Leaf_Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

Leadership Award — Binder Clips

Quiet, service-oriented, and essential, the supply which displays the greatest leadership is the mysterious binder clip! Most students don’t notice you, and if they do they take you apart or use you as a mouth. Capable of carrying heavy loads, we thank this beautiful servant leader for holding us together.

Binder Clips_Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

Leadership Honorable Mention — Paper Clips

Sorry paper clips — we didn’t mean to leave you out! You may not be capable of holding as much as a binder clip, but when students haven’t mutilated you into various dangerous shapes, weapons, and ceiling darts, you are just as essential.

Photo of Purple Paper Clip on Green Background_Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

Most Popular Supply Award — Good Tissues

As boxes of tissues get stacked in the cupboard on the first day of school, it’s already clear who is going to be the most popular supply each year. Blankets for a parched nose, you facial tissues with lotion create an irresistibly stream-lined, soft, beautiful nasal experience. You’re so great, even highly responsible educators secretly want to take you home (and sometimes do).

Tissue Paper on a Container Near Glass Window_Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

Most Persistent Supply Award — Large Erasers

This award goes to the supply that, although constantly tossed, broken into chunks, and eroded by violent friction against rough paper, somehow continues to do its job well. Thank you, battered old large erasers. We don’t know how you do it!

Eraser on White Surface_Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

Most Likely to Succeed — Whiteboard Markers

We never know what we have until it’s gone!  The Most Likely to Succeed award goes to Whiteboard Markers, a supply so useful we can never have enough of them. Popular with teachers, students, and even businesspeople stinking up their cubicles with your pungent ink, there is no limit to where you could go, Whiteboard Markers!

white board markers

Most Patient Supply Award — Staplers

Although you are often blamed for stapling students’ fingers, we know the truth: You, staplers, are the most patient supply, sitting tranquilly on the teacher’s desk, students smash their grubby fists into your head, jamming you and shaking you as if you don’t work. We know you would function just fine if they used you correctly, and we appreciate you!

stapler on desk

Most Overly Protective Award — The Laminator

This award goes to a veteran supply, the laminator. Even with your impending retirement coming in the next few years, you never cease to fearlessly protect old student projects from being ripped and scribbled on.

Fellowes Laminator

Loyalty Award — Sticky Notes

A stack of tiny papers in the corner of our desks, you are always there when we need you. Thank you, sticky notes, for bearing our various tasks, improvised hall passes, labels for stacks of handouts, and much more.

If School Supplies Were Given the End-of-the-Year Awards They Deserve

Best Attitude Award — Push Broom

The Best Attitude Award goes to the trusty push broom! Although we forget about you, leaving you leaning against a dusty corner or shoved in a closet for weeks, you faithfully show up to deal with our trash and grime, sweeping up dusty crayons, weird bits of student doodles, and broken pieces of who-knows-what!


Parents’ Choice Award — Bleach Wipes

Normally forgotten in a cupboard most years, this dark horse is the winner of the Parents’ Choice Award! You are a hot commodity during the pandemic season, making you a natural favorite of parents this year, bleach wipes!

bleach wipes

Spirit Award — Hand Sanitizer

Although you can get overly excited, squirting haphazardly into kids’ faces and mouths, you keep us alive and in school! Thanks for pumping us up and giving the best, wettest high fives.

If School Supplies Were Given the End-of-the-Year Awards They Deserve

Teacher’s Choice Award — The Last Good Pen

They say teachers shouldn’t have favorites, but we do! The Teacher’s Choice Award goes to the teacher’s favorite pen, the last high quality writing utensil with the teacher’s ink and grip of choice left at the end of the year. You get us through term grading, doodle with us during boring staff meetings, and somehow never threaten to dry out. If a student steals you, we know it immediately, and we find a discreet way to swipe you back, replacing you with a broken grey colored pencil. Students bamboozled!

If School Supplies Were Given the End-of-the-Year Awards They Deserve

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Underrated School Supplies that Deserve End of the Year Awards

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Iris Planchet

Senior Member

Iris Planchet is a middle school Language Arts teacher. She loves teaching about her favorite books, including House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Outside of reading and writing, you can find her baking, playing guitar, or playing board games with her family.
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