Back-to-School time always means starting fresh with clean desk. . . setting up where you will lesson plan, where you will grade, and where you will rummage for an afternoon snack. If you just can’t wait, scroll to the bottom of the blog for a giveaway!
We don’t want you sitting down to finally get some work done, only to spend 20 minutes searching high and low for your stapler. And we certainly don’t want you prowling around your school in the late afternoon twilight looking for the vending machine.
So, let’s take a look at how some Together Teachers are stocking their desks* for the start of school.
Adzua is beginning her second year as a K-5 math and reading resource teacher in Atlanta. As a special education instructor and case manager, she frequently uses her desk to organize and complete paperwork.
This year, Adzua doesn’t have a planning period and there’s a hole in her desk’s bottom drawer. So, it’s extra important that everything she needs is close by.
Here are Adzua’s favorite items to stock in her teacher desk. She personally describes why she needs each one:
I like to keep my desk stocked with snacks, like Luna Bars and nuts and instant coffee. I don’t have a lot of time to work throughout the day, so when I sit down to work on lesson plans or write IEPs, I like to have some fuel to push me through the occasional afternoon energy crash.
2) Medicine and Health Aids
Despite my best efforts with hand-washing and sanitizing, I got sick several times last year. I just started teaching, so it might be awhile until my immune system can defend itself against elementary school germs. In the meantime, I try to keep some painkillers and cold medicine (like Emergen-C) close by. This drawer is locked and out of student reach. Also included on this list are Chapstick, hand sanitizer, lotion and deodorant.
3) Your most necessary supplies. . . In Adzua’s case. . . . The Heavy Duty Stapler
The giant stapler in my drawer is one of my favorite school-related purchases. I use it primarily for assembling Reading A-Z books, but it’s really useful for those thick IEP packets, too.
For some teachers, this favorite tool may be a hole puncher, shredder, favorite grading pen, or an awesome Sharpie. Whatever it is, keep it close so you always know where to find it!
As a special education teacher, I have to handle an incredible amount of paperwork, and paper clips are one of my favorite simple organization tools.
5) Stickers and Other Student Incentives!
My students love to earn stickers, so I always keep a packet in my desk to reward them for good behavior and extraordinary achievement. Other teachers keep fun Post-Its for student notes or personalized thank you cards for parents and colleagues.
Thanks, Adzua, for sharing your desk essentials with us!
The Personal Comfort Bonus Category
These last “icing on the cake” tips come from Adzua and three other Together Teachers (Jenny C., Jackie P., and Kelly V.). They told us to be sure to stock your desk with:
- A change of shoes
- An extra sweater or blazer (for fluctuating room temperatures)
- A change of clothes (for spills and snags)
- An extra umbrella
Together Teacher Contest:
What are your top three teacher desk must-haves for professional and personal survival?
Post your reply with your first name, last initial, by Friday, September 21, at 6 PM EDT.
Two winners will be randomly selected to receive a Together Teacher Desk Care Package, full of at least 8 fun goodies for your desk!
*For the sake of this blog, we use the term teacher “desk” to mean wherever your home base may be, e.g. a U-shaped table, your tote bag, or a cart you push around your school.