Monday, July 18, 2011

What I Could not Teach Without- my essentials to survive the day

What are your staples?  You know, the things you absolutely need in life...things that will always be in your purse, in your pocket?

Over the past year, I have taken 3 long-term substitute positions and learned quickly that there are some things that you just need to help you get through the day.  More than just a laptop people...I mean little things that really make your day!  :)

These are my top 10 essentials that I feel help me get through a day...whether it is teaching, or the weekend.  Enjoy!

1. Chapstick: You need a good one so your lips don't get chapped!  I finally found the best one ever!!
Gap "Favorite Lip Balm." Appropriately named.  I've only tried Apple Cider so far (love it).  Why is it so good?  It has coconut oil in it.  Any chapstick I've tried with coconut oil in it I've loved.  It doesn't get all caked on your lips after talking for a while (good for teaching with!), it stays on your lips for a long time, and the tube lasts for a long time.  It's a little pricey...$4-5, but for how great of a product it is for me, it's worth.

Bottom line, get yourself some nice chapstick :).

2. Bobby Pin and Hair tie: for those times when you just need hair out of your face.

Teaching Biology means I'm doing many labs and leaning toward a microscope.  My short layers of hair get in my eyes and when I look through a microscope it gets in the way.  Bobby Pin to the rescue! Hair ties on my wrist are great for when we do labs and need to pull back the hair.

3. Water: stay hydrated!
My fave water container

Talking to 100's of kids all day long can make you dehydrated and dizzy (it's happened to me before).  Challenge yourself to drink water, rather than soft drinks, to keep on your toes.

4. Tea: for times when you don't really need coffee or soda, but want a change in beverage.
My fave so far is.... I like having tea while I teach because it makes me feel a little bit at home (which the classroom really does become home when your there 5 days a week).

5. My favorite mug: Anthro beauty
You need a great mug to drink coffee or tea from :) Trust me, a great mug makes ya feel better about life sometimes!

6. Snacks: for a pick-me-up, or your drive home!
You'll need a good nutrition boost now and then, but candy will make you crash HARD (I won't get into the science of it, but it's all this glucose and insulin stuff, and a crash and burn of sugar in your system...). Protein, fruit, or veggies will do.  Have some candy every once in a while, but maybe a "fun size," so you won't hit that afternoon food coma that comes 20 minutes after your king size milky way bar :)

7. A cardigan: for those "the A/C is so cold" days.
Something simple and that can match anything, like gray or black. I have one very similar to this.

8. Gum: cause your breath is harsh.
That's all I can say!  How embarrassing would it be to talk to a student in close proximity and for your breath to be so bad! It's a fear of mine, I swear!

9. A favorite writing pen/pencil(s): because sometimes it feels better to write in your favorite pen.
Bic Triumph 537R

I'm a lefty, and with that power comes great responsibility. Like finding pens that don't smear as you go across the pages.  This pen work great and drys fast! No ink all over my hand!

10. Post-It's: write and stick.
They are perfect for quick passes for a student, and colorful enough to grab your attention if you have to make an important to-do list on them.

What an exhaustive list! I hope that inspires you to have some great essentials in your classroom to make things more at home in the class! :) 

Linking at Views from Room 205.


  1. I love this list--we are definitely kindred spirits.

    My coffee mug has a crown on it and underneath it says "Queen of Everything." It's a subliminal message to my students that I'm the one in charge. ;)

    And Sticky Notes. I love them. And any kind of notepad/to-do list notes.

  2. 1. chapstick: I think I have 3 tubes in my teacher drawer alone. That doesn't count my pocket or purse

    3. water: hydration. I make sure my Nalgene is fully stocked with ice and water at all times..

    4. TEA: ahhh I love drinking tea. I go through a season where I cheat on my coffee with tea everyday first thing when I get to school..scandalous

    10. sticky notes: I need a filing cabinet of these bad boys. I use them constantly in the classroom.

    Thanks for sharing your staples:)

  3. Whit- Maybe I need a mug like that!

    Mrs. Hawk, you crack me up. I think I carry a couple of chapsticks in my purse too..and plenty of lipgloss. And I totally get cheating on my coffee...Hope the coffee doesn't get jealous!

  4. I will have to try that sounds amazing!

  5. Jennifer, the chapstick really is great! I really like the Apple Cider one :) But I need to try the other ones.

  6. I love the idea of top ten non teaching items! I might have to create the same type of list. I love the burts bee colored chaps your lips a nice little color! I keep a bag of peppermints since the students get annoyed when I chew gum and they cannot...although I tell them that I am teaching them the correct way to chew gum...they of course do not agree!

  7. I am a lefty too! I have a favorite purple pen that does not smear and is very smooth...I forget what it is called, but will share later when I find it

    ...sorry for commenting twice!

  8. love the list-you're much healthier than me!

  9. M.E.--- lefties unite! I love when I find a good pen :)

    Mrs. Lamb--I try my hardest to stay healthy, but sometimes I have candy...all day long! lol

  10. My list would be pretty much exactly the same! Especially the post-its! A passion for ministry also led me into teaching during college (away from engineering in my case). I've loved every second! Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. PS: I stole this idea today, but gave you credit. :) You gotta see my list. I think you might appreciate it.

  12. Thanks for swinging by Laurel! And wow, moving away from engineering into teaching is such a big move, but so great that you are exactly where you should be ;)