FAQ: Hey, Do You Have a Pen I Could Borrow?

Sep 19, 2012

My first year of teaching, I had REALLY long (and admittedly, kind of messy) hair. At the end of the day, I would shake out my ponytail and occasionally find at least three pens hanging out up there. Next, I would empty the pockets of my oh-so-fashionable ankle length jumper dress and find two markers — one dry erase and one permanent. And when cleaning out my tote bag, pencils and keys would come falling out to greet me.

Today’s Question: How can you keep your necessary materials close by?

Today’s Answer: If you don’t always have a teaching outfit (or hair) with pockets, it is really tough to keep your important stuff on hand.

The teachers and schools below have thoughtfully considered how to keep pens, markers, and other essentials close by at all times.  While you may take some coolness hits from more fashionable relatives and friends, your students and colleagues will marvel at your new status as Smooth Operator Numero Uno. We think it’s worth it.

1.      The lanyard. I spotted this in New Orleans in July, and I’m so sorry I didn’t get this teacher’s name. Note the jump drive, timer, school ID and room keys!

2.      The school-site apron. I was at DC Prep last week, where I spotted these awesome teacher “aprons.” They remind of me of what I wore when waitressing and seem cool enough that middle-schoolers won’t get on your case.  Not any more than usual, anyway. 

3. The overhead projector storage “scarf” turned tool belt. This one gets bonus points for creativity. Note how Kumal even has a First Aid kit!

I’m sure there are more great ways to keep your writing tools and other essentials close by when teaching. Please share in our comments section. Also, check out our Pinterest board with ideas for toting your materials to and from school!

Together Teacher Reflection Question: What are your pen carrying solutions? (Feel free to include links to photos of your favorite system!)