Box of Tricks
All of those things that make the experienced teacher look like the consumate professional... the things that we wouldn't be without. This is not an exhaustive list - but I do have all of these lurking in my cupboard.
- A notebook: for all the messages given at briefings & in meetings, noting down contact with parents, things you have to do... invaluable for organising yourself.
- Board-pens & a rubber: despite schools providing these, you will often find that they are missing when you need them the most, by having your own handy the ever present worry of "Where is the pen" goes away.
- A door stop: again something that is often provided, but more often missing, it is an essential on a hot day when you need air-flow through a room.
- Memory stick / External hard-drive: most educational programmes now are on the computers. (The system, the network or a host of other names in different schools.) Having a copy of these programmes and all your resources on a portable hard drive will make life a lot easier... especially when the network connection goes down (which it will do when you urgently need it the most!)
- Painkillers: there are days when you get a headache/backache etc... and you can't pop out for a painkiller, having them handy makes the world of difference.
- Baby wipes: as strange as this may seem - these are wonderful for cleaning hands, spills on clothes, as a freshen-up... a million and one uses!
- Tissues: a similar scenario to baby wipes, more uses than the traditional nose blowing
- A mug: yes teachers are territorial - over their mugs! Bring your own and you won't be part of the great mug war of 20xx!
- Teabags / coffee: the common complaint - who finished the coffee??? Avoid the caffeine withdrawal symptoms by having your own supply.
- Powdered milk/creamer: more often thannot no-one will have bought any milk - so if you want your drinks white, make sure you have powdered milk/creamer to hand.
- Spare stockings/tights: nothing is worse than getting a huge ladder in your stockings/tights - be prepared have some spare!
- Clear nail varnish: for if you don't have the spare pair of tights/stockings for a simple stop-gap repair.
- Hair clip / hair band: you will often find when marking or similar, your hair gets in the way, having something to tie it back is invaluable.
- Nail file: what is worse than a torn, scratchy broken nail? Have a nail file handy - you can guarantee getting at least one breakage.
- Spare tie: you really don't want to stand in front of the class or parents with stains on your tie.