6 Items I Carry on Me at All Times

What should you have to hand?

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

If you were to peer into my classroom a few years ago you’d more than likely see me patting down pockets, rummaging through desk drawers or tipping out my rucksack.

My first few years of teaching were a series of hard lessons in getting caught short.

Here are the items I now won’t walk into a classroom without:

Water bottle

If, like in my school, the nearest water fountain is a few minutes’ walk away, it will often be a few minutes you won’t be able to spare. Dehydration adds to feelings of stress, so come prepared.

Tissues

Nothing derails a lesson quite like a student with a runny nose. Having a pack of tissues on you fixes this quickly. I’ve also found this to be a great relationship builder as your generosity will help build good relationships with your students.

Spare paper and pens

Being able to quickly toss a pen or sheet of paper to a student who has arrived unprepared can save a lot of fuss at the start of a lesson. Very handy for yourself too.

Fresh boardmarker

There’s nothing worse than trying to write on a whiteboard with a boardmarker that’s on its last legs. Have a spare.

USB stick

I keep mine on a keyring attached to my school lanyard.  I find it reassuring to have every lesson slide I’ve ever made hanging around my neck.

Make sure to back-up any files on a spare drive at least once a month in case your USB stick gets lost or damaged. After breaking several plastic ones, I now use a metal USB stick for better durability.

Presentation clicker

The ability to stand anywhere in the classroom and switch between slides remotely has given me greater sense of control than being tied to a keyboard or mouse. Most presentation clickers have built-in laser pointers which I find is really useful for directing the students’ attention to particular words or images.

So long as I have these with me, I don’t want for much else. But what do you think I’ve missed? Is there anything else you find yourself reaching for several times a day? Let me know in the comments below.

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