Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Teacher Survival Kit

My cousin, who was really more like a sister growing up, is a counselor. Before she was a counselor, she was a teacher herself! My first year, she sent me a package to school that I still refill and use. It's a Teacher Survival Kit. And you'll definitely want one. Over the years, I've added my own touches to it, but it amazed me how things I never thought of were in there, and I used them constantly.

Here are the essentials I keep in my kit and why you should definitely have them in yours:

  • Back up deodorant - I keep a small travel size deodorant in my kit. Forgot your deodorant? No problems! Thirteen hour work day because you have parent teacher conferences after school? You're still fresh! Does you audit interview have you nervous? Throw on your deodorant and you're fine!
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste - When your conferencing with students or having a hallway talk, you don't want your breath to get in the way of your purpose. So go ahead and enjoy that garlic bread with lunch! Just make sure to brush afterward. I find keeping the travel style toothbrush works the best for me.
  • Floss - You're going to need it eventually. Even if you don't floss at home (and you really should!), keep some floss around. It's hard to have a class discussion when you've got a sesame seed practically embedded in your gums.
  • Chapstick - You never know when all that talking might make your lips a bit dry.
  • Concealer/foundation - When did that enormous zit erupt?! Ack! Cover it up! 
  • Lotion - Going through papers can make your hands dry and chapped. Keep some lotion on hand to counteract the problem! 
  • Bandages - A hangnail here, a blister there. You don't want to have to run to the office any time you need a bandage. These have the bonus of being useful for your students as well.
  • Tide To Go Pen - That's such a pretty sweater! Too bad you slurped marinara all over it. Use your magical stain erasing pin! You may have a large wet spot while it works its magic, but your sweater won't be ruined.
  • Needle/thread - You never know when you're going to need to repair something. White and black should help you get through the day without too many people noticing.
  • Tums - Or really any type of antacid. You don't want to get sick in the middle of class. Teaching and misery are never a good combination.
  • Clippers/file - I actually have a miniature manicure kit. It even has those dastardly cuticle cutters in it! This is also a good time to mention you might want to keep some nail polish remover around as well. 
  • Pain reliever - Midol, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin and whatever else you can think of. You don't want to combat an untreated headache while dealing with thirty teenagers.
Maybe not in your classroom, but it's also a good idea to keep a change of clothes in your car. Especially with younger kids. Hey, I teach teenagers and I've still been puked on. You may feel over prepared and paranoid keeping everything down to the undergarments, but when you have a kid puke, pee or poop on you, you won't be second guessing your decision.

In case you're wondering what on earth you'll be doing that you'd need all of these items at once, in the words of Edna Mode "Well, I'm sure I don't know, darling. Luck favors the prepared!" Really, these items are a good idea to keep at any job. I joke to my students that my classroom is my home. During the work week, I spend more time awake in my classroom than I do at home. Why not make it have some at home comforts to keep me feeling good, smelling fresh and looking my best?

1 comment:

  1. I was actually looking for a good list of supplies to put in a new teacher survival kit. This is perfect. I have all of these things on my desk. The only thing I will add to my kit is name brand Kleenex. The school supplies the sand paper kind that leaves you more miserable than the cold!

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