As a teacher, you accomplish a thousand tasks a day. You take on multiple roles. You cultivate the minds that will be the contributing citizens of our country. No biggie, you pretty much just control the future of our great nation.
In this oh-so prestigious occupation, you require certain tools to (in short) get the job done. Your school district supplies you with a small budget and you may wonder how you should prioritize and balance the needs of your students and your needs as a teacher. After books and writing utensils, technology items and intervention materials, you’ll be lucky if you have even $5 left. But if you can manage to set that much aside, I can show you how to create an Emergency Teacher Kit that will save you time and again.
Here are 3 inexpensive (and yes, somewhat random) items that will save your sanity as a teacher.
I cannot count the number of times a week I reach for the Ziploc bags. Whether I am sorting game pieces or storing flashcards, this simple addition to my classroom has offered quick solutions. A student just had a tooth fall out? Ziploc please. Flimsy cardboard container holding your push pins just split wide open? Ziploc please. The little angel in your study hall just spent 29 minutes cutting out tiny paper replica DNA strands and ran out of time to glue them on the assignment sheet and needs to go to lunch RIGHT NOW? Ziploc please.
If you are like me, you get crabby when you get hungry. Granola bars are great to stash in your room because they are easy to grab and eat during a prep period or before an after school staff meeting. Students feel that way too! My district is considered a rural high poverty area and many of my students come to school without having eaten breakfast. Even though my district also has a food program that offers affordable (aka: free) breakfast, sometimes they show up late and with an empty stomach. Starving kids can’t learn. A granola bar quickly eaten during morning announcements and voila crisis averted.
A Box of Thank You Notes
Stop at the dollar store and pick up a box of thank you notes. Students love us (duh!) and sometimes they show it by giving small gifts. It’s great to be able to be able to write a short note and not have a nagging reminder in the back or your head or on your to-do list for a month. Especially around Christmas or other gift giving holidays, this will be a nice item to have handy.
Another tip. Stock your desk drawer with these essential items: a finger nail clipper and file, chap stick, cough drops, Tylenol/Ibuprofen, feminine products and water flavoring packets. You may feel like a Walgreen’s but you will never be without what you need. Think about it, you spend over a third of your day/life at school. Why not make it as convenience friendly and comforting as possible?
Best wishes to you as you navigate this school year. I hope these items will provide you with a few moments of clarity in which you definitely have the answer within arm’s reach.