Back-to-School Essentials

It’s that time of year again. Here at SOLARO HQ in Edmonton, Alberta, it’s snowing. No, that’s not a Canada joke, it’s actually snowing today. When I planned out this blog post, I was daydreaming about yellow and red leaves and the smell of fresh crayons. Instead, it’s the second week of our school year and we’ve got snow. For me, that means it’s even more important to dive into my fellow SOLARIANs’ imaginations and think about our most-needed back-to-school essentials (that are not winter coats).


Chris W, Mathematical Machinist

For me, it was all about finding that perfect binder. The right binder had a zipper, penholders, and other pockets in the flap. Preferably one with dividers too—and it had to be the right colour. In university that became finding the perfect clipboard to take and organize all my notes. And when I was teaching, I went back to the binder—with my schedule, class lists, and school information, all in one simple place. Organizing a new binder was what got me prepared to start the year.

Taryn C, Print Production Princess

Five Star zip-up binders and notebooks were totally the highlight of my back-to-school supplies. I always HAD to have them for school. Those things were DURABLE. Lasted all year, no problem!

Okay, so SOLARIANs love binders. Anything else?

Linda M, English Entrepreneur

My favourite part of going back to school was getting new school supplies. All of them.

I think that includes binders.

Kimberlee D, Editing Enchanter

I remember in elementary being really excited about scented markers from Crayola. The best part was having rainbow nose! Or, possibly getting a little high from the fumes … although, I’m sure it was better than sniffing glue or something. Totally appropriate blog material, am I right?

All right, teachers, let Kim’s youth be a teaching moment for you.

Darla K, Language Arts Lady Amazing

One of my favourite parts about being a teacher was the back-to-school shopping! Each year I just had to go out and buy new folders, pens, markers, erasers, etc. (for all those students who were unprepared). Yearly, I also restocked my own personal supply of pens—they had to be velocity gel and I needed some in red, blue, and black. Then, I would go buy some in different colours—purple and green—to do my marking (they had to have a roller ball). However, my all-time favourite school supply that I buy every year has to be paper clips. I have a large supply of coloured, striped, metallic, round, and triangular paper clips. My favourites are the ones in the shape of common objects like birds, treble clefs, cats, moose, etc. I am the biggest “school nerd” that I know.


I know that I do not need to buy supplies anymore, but I still do—there are a lot of organizations out there that help provide school supplies for those students who are less fortunate than most. I always donate “cool” things—things that are not your everyday run-of-the-mill supplies—I might find a holographic ruler, “smelly” markers, large packs of crayons, a unique calculator, etc.

Okay, smelly markers again…

Le D, Designing Dreamer

Clothes. I love clothes.

A man after my own heart.

Dalaney L, Graphics Grinder

My absolute fave was getting one of those big packs of pencil crayons that had like 100 in there, and you could fold up the back and make a little stand out of it. They were all sharpened so perfectly, and the rainbow of colours was so exciting. By the end of the year, they were all worn down to nubs and the ends were all chewed up, so I always looked forward to the new pack next year.


Deborah L, IT ET

My daughter loves clothes. I take her to places like Aviva and Justice. Justice is like walking back into the ’80s. It’s girly, it’s sparkly, and it’s her style. I got her a sparkly backpack with a K on it (that’s her first initial). She’s happy, so I’m happy.

What about me?

Rebecca F, Blogging Belle

There are so many to choose from. I get giddy when it’s back-to-school time. Fresh pencils. Plastic folders. New clothes. Oh my goodness, the shades of teal they always come out with in August … but, I think the one thing I have been most excited about going back to school was my tablet. When I started my master’s degree in 2013, I purchased a Microsoft Surface. That thing is amazing. I’ve never been a gadget person, but I would not trade it for anything. Of course, now they’re on generation 3 and the new ones weigh about half of what mine does. Is now a terrible time to admit I haven’t yet checked out the Windows 8 SOLARO app? I have downloaded it, though, boss!