Prepared for Anything Nancy
It helps to be prepared as you enter
your classroom. Look for these items in your house (you may have
extras) or check out garage sales and second-hand stores. Because
costs can add up. Keep receipts and/or records of what you spend.
These expenses (for the most part) are tax deductible, but keep
good records. You can also look into getting a credit card just
to use for school expenses. Use it for the purpose of record keeping,
not for spending more money than you should. Stay balanced!
A collection of tools, emergency supplies,
medical supplies, office supplies, and a substitute notebook could
save the day when you least expect it!
Round up some old tools for your
classroom even if you can't hang things on the walls. Some things
that might come in handy are:
- an old shirt, lab coat, or smock
to protect your clothes,
- a hammer,
- screwdrivers - phillips, flathead,
and a micro set like you'd use for eyeglass repair,
- some paper towels and/or old towels
- a magnifying glass,
- a flashlight and batteries,
- an Exacto knife,
- a hot glue gun,
- a spare bulb for your overhead projector,
- WD-40 or a small can of lubricant,
- string and/or fishing line, and
- wire cutters
These things might just fit the bill
for your creative classroom needs. Make sure that they are in good
repair and that you have a good tool box to keep them safe from
little and big hands.
Have you ever accidentally torn
or damaged something that you're wearing? You may want to keep the
following items in an accessible place in your room:
- safety pins,
- a needle and thread,
- an extra pair of comfortable shoes
(especially if you're a woman and a sandal or strap breaks),
- an extra pair of neutral colored
pants and a shirt,
- an extra set of car keys (in case
you lock yours in your car in a frenzied moment),
- an extra pair of glasses or contacts
(and solution), and
- extra buttons
Most schools will supply you with
important items that help meet the blood-born pathogen legislation.
Things that you should have on hand include:
- band aids,
- rubber gloves,
- baggies ,
- nail clippers, and
- Tylenol or ibuprofen (only for you
-- teachers cannot disperse medication to students).
Make sure to schedule a meeting with
the school nurse to find out how your school wants you to deal with
medical situations BEFORE you have an emergency.
Instead of spending your savings to
buy commonly used office supplies for your classroom, check with
your doctor or dentist for promotional items that you can use. Office
supply stores, copy shops, and teacher supply stores often have
teacher appreciation days when they give away all sorts of post-its,
pens, pencils, markers, clips, and rulers, etc. Schools often have
supply rooms for file folders, lesson plan books, tape, staplers
and staples, etc. Ask your administrators or other teachers about
the types of supplies that the school has available for teachers.
It is very tempting to go on a buying spree when you begin teaching,
but remember, don't spend the paycheck that you haven't received
yet on these items.
Instead of having to hurry and
collect information when you are ill or will be absent from your
classroom, keep all of the important information for a substitute
in a handy three-ring notebook. Include your
- seating charts,
- teaching schedule including lunch
- attendance forms and instructions
on how and when attendance should be taken,
- name(s) of reliable student(s) in
each class in case there are questions,
- location of your lesson plan book
and necessary handouts,
- pages asking the substitute to provide
feedback on the lessons/day,
- location of hall passes and other
passes with the directions for using them,
- location of your medical emergency
- ways to contact the office in case
of an emergency,
- additional activities that can be
used as time fillers in case students finish too early, and
- the name and room number of a nearby
teacher that can be contacted for help.
Make sure to update this with new seating
charts, etc. when you make new ones. This will save you an unbelievable
amount of time and discomfort when you may not be feeling your best!
Be good to mother nature and bring
your own mug to school to save on paper or Styrofoam cups. Put a
disposable camera in your desk drawer for those special moments
that you won't want to miss!
You won't need all of these things
for your first day of school, so add to your collections of necessary
items. Having these items and others that you think of will make
your job more pleasurable and less frustrating. Things don't need
to be new - just clean, safe and useable. Enjoy!