Sure there are many things one needs to run an efficient classroom but these five tools make your life easier. They may sound simple but you will be glad you have them during the chaos of the day. Thanks to our Facebook fans for their input.
iPoint—The Best Pencil Sharpener Out There
Nothing is more of an energy zapper than keeping pencils sharpened (which is why our friend Karin on Facebook said a sharpener is a must have). It is bad enough that it is a constant management issues with students. When you do finally get to sharpen pencils—in the rush of your day—the equipment usually doesn’t work. We all have had pencils eaten by the machine or tips that break the moment it is used. (Often this is on the pencil of the student is up at your desk four times a day needing one sharpened).
The iPoint is the best product I have found to FINALLY tackle this problem. It is quick and efficient. The best part is they usually only cost about $20.00 and have been found at Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco. Everyone must get one (if not two) of these for the classroom.
The Right Kind of Stapler Remover
Called many things, push-type, pen-style, the best stapler remover is the kind pictured below.
It removes the staple without gouging the paper. This is most useful when removing staples off of a bulletin board. It also collects several staples on the tip at once so you can quickly remove several items before needing to pause to empty the staples. The traditional kind is still helpful when separating papers but I found most of what I need a stapler remover for is to take things off of the wall.
This replaces overhead projectors and the need to make endless transparencies. It projects a live image of a picture, page from a textbook, actual object, or any other item you place under it. You can also freeze an image of let’s say a worksheet and then write on its projection on the whiteboard without marking up your original copy. It needs to be connected to an LCD projector to show the image. (Thanks Gina for the suggestion.)
A DECENT Pair of Scissors for You
That sounds so obvious you wonder why I am listing it. Why? Because so many teachers have how many pairs of scissors in their desk? It is only when we are in the chaos of some giant holiday project and are trying to cut something before the line of 5 kids becomes 10 that we go, “I need to get a better pair of scissors!” So even if you inherited four semi-usable ones from other teachers—get yourself a decent pair today!
Comfortable Shoes, Water, and Chocolate (or a satisfying snack to keep you going)
So no, we did not mean these.
Essentials like, comfortable shoes, water, and a snack are about making the day better for you. The classic dilemma of putting everyone else’s needs before our own is a major trap for teachers. So don’t forget to take care of yourself. Although we want to look fashionable, three-inch heels do us no good no matter how cute they are. Keeping hydrated and a hunger pains away also make our long days survivable. (Thanks Toni for the input–especially about the chocolate!)
As basic some of these items are they will have a huge impact on keeping things flowing throughout the year.
By The Uncluttered Teacher
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