Goodwill has become a one-stop shopping bonanza for our valued teachers

Everyone knows by now that Goodwill is the perfect place for back-to-school shopping for thrifty parents and students. But each summer we see more and more teachers roaming the aisles at Goodwill Central Coast, searching for ways to spruce up themselves and their classrooms.

A one-stop-shop for teachers

For teachers, it’s important to find versatile, comfortable clothing that still projects a professional appearance. Thrifty fashionistas know a growing secret: Goodwill carries popular name brands such as Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Chico, and Ann Taylor — often with the original tags intact.

When it comes to classroom supplies, it’s no secret that teachers end up paying for many (if not most) of these items out-of-pocket, so costs need to be low.

That’s where Goodwill comes in. Teachers needn’t look far for valuable teaching materials, including books, movies, calendars, desk organizers, and art supplies. And thrifting can help create a classroom that is both adorable and practical.

 Here are some ideas on what to keep an out for:


Fill your classroom with stories, and encourage students to borrow and return as they wish. To prepare, grab a handful of books every time you shop at Goodwill over the summer. By the time fall comes, you will have quite a collection to inspire young minds.


You need someplace to put all those bargain books, right? If your classroom is always in need of more shelf space, watch out for bookshelves that you can grab on the cheap.

Games and toys:

Stock your classroom game closet with finds from Goodwill Central Coast. Just check to be sure all the pieces are included (or are easily replaced). Sometimes it’s even worth it to pick up old games just for the extra pieces, such as dice or letter tiles.

Art supplies:

Important items such as crayons and markers are a given when you’re bargain shopping as a teacher. But it’s also worth looking for yarn, fabric, googly eyes, beads, and other craft supplies.

Repurposed clothing:

You can find lots of thrift store clothes bargains for yourself, of course. But this is also a great way to find dress-up clothes for your students. Also, be on the lookout for oversized shirts to wear as aprons during messy projects, or T-shirts you can cut up and turn into rags or useful cloth.

Storage options:

Baskets, bins, crates, carts, filing cabinets, and drawers are just the start. Teachers always need more storage, and GCC can be a great place to find options.


Goodwill is a great place to find cheap furniture (especially tables and chairs), especially at the outlet stores. Unlike other merchandise, furniture at the outlet stores is not sold by the pound, and a little TLC can turn a well-worn item into treasure.

Once you’ve got all of your back-to-school style and supplies ready to go, the only thing left to do is mentally prepare yourself (or your kiddos) for another year of schedules and studying. Unfortunately, we’ll have to leave that part to you. But Goodwill Central Coast sends its best wishes for a successful school year, and you know where to find us when you think of that one last thing your child needs before they can go back to school.

As a community nonprofit that helps build lives, families, and communities by removing obstacles to employment through our education, training, and employment services, Goodwill Central Coast will always support our teachers. If we can help them save both time and money, it’s a win for local education and the future of our children.

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