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What are the things that as a teacher you couldn’t manage without? We’ve come up with some but if you have any to add please leave a comment below.
The primary school teacher’s rule of thumb is that if it stays still for any length of time, then it WILL be laminated. Quite how our preoccupation with plastic coating things started, it’s hard to say, but it’s now so deep rooted that there’s no moving on. We used to just laminate the occasional poster or certificate, but these days any teacher worth their salt will have an endless supply of laminated word and number mats, sorting cards and in some cases, I’ve heard, ‘learning journey bunting’.
Many of us aren’t happy simply to use the school office laminator, preferring to strike out and buy our own – which leads to excited staffroom conversations as we compare makes and models and added extras. The most advanced among us have moved on from simply laminating rectangular shaped items and can laminate to order. It’s quite a skill; one we have honed over many terms.
Every teacher needs a trusty mug. It doesn’t have to be the most beautiful mug in the history of time, it just needs to be unmistakably ours. Often, the mug we most cherish was a long-ago gift from a stationery company and bears the scars of un-careful washing in the form of pockmarks and cracks – but we love it like an ageing mangy dog. Its attraction may not be immediately apparent to others, but you’ve been faithful friends and hope to continue your relationship for many a cuppa to come.
When given a sticker by a teacher, most kids react as if we’ve just given them a pony. We kind of like that so we do it a lot.
Of course, a few years ago I could have written ‘red pen’ but that would be likely to elicit the ire of at least half of the teaching population these days. But whatever the colour, our teaching toolkit is incomplete until we have a pen that is a lurid pink, green or turquoise in order to mark up children’s work. Not to point out their mistakes, of course, but rather to encourage their continued learning…
A nocturnal pet
Teachers keep funny hours and often find ourselves planning well into the middle of the night. It can feel quite a lonely preoccupation – but this can be alleviated by either a nocturnal pet or an imaginary friend. One word of advice though, a hamster with a squeaky wheel is not always the lesson-planning teacher’s best friend.
Not just the standard little yellow ones either. No, we need a range of post-it notes in different sizes, colours and shapes. They come in endlessly handy both for personal organisation and as a teaching tool. Expecting us to teach without them would be akin to abuse.
While the rest of the world plans their life on their smartphones, we are yet to move on from the trusty lesson planner. We take regular instruction from our lesson planner about where we should be and when and who on earth we’re teaching.
Our side-line in child counselling seems to necessitate a LOT of tissues so we’re never to be caught without them.
What are the other essential items in your teacher toolkit? Please share them in a comment section below.
As I was reading this my laminator was chewing up a poster I'd prepared for my reading corner! I have to agree with all 10 but I need to add glue sticks at No. 11
My own A4 paper trimmer to go with the laminator.
A good printer is an essential too.
A reliable Internet connection is also very important couldnt live without mine for ideas!
A tambourine, the high pitched sound really gets their attention!
A supply of lined and blank paper, blue pens and a pencil sharpener. It's amazing how often as a supply teacher I find nothing to write on.
A USB stick
Can't live without art supplies, peace and quiet at home and fun!
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