While it may not feel like it sometimes, each of us only has two hands, an occasional pocket, and maybe a lanyard to hang on to our keys, our lesson plans, our writing implements, our plans for prep periods, our attendance sheets, our demerit trackers, and all those other random pieces of paper we are handed all day long.
Not a surprise, then, that I frequently hear this question: “What do I absolutely have to carry with me all day? What can I leave behind?”
Keith, a middle school teacher at Excel Academy in Boston shared his solution with us—complete with photos!
Like any good teacher, Keith is glued to his clipboard, and Keith’s clipboard is glued to him:
“I keep my clipboard with me all day wherever I go, using it to keep me updated on where I’m supposed to be throughout the day, what’s on my checklist, and to direct me towards what I’m working on during my prep time.”
However, Keith hit the typical clipboard challenges—they quickly get messy and disorganized, and they don’t help you categorize or sort your materials.
So, Keith and his colleagues got creative with some fancy rubberbands…and now he just has ONE thing to carry around all day. Check it out!
- Front of the Clipboard: This is where Keith keeps the documents he needs for quick access during the teaching day: attendance forms, consequence systems, lesson plans, and anecdotal student notes.
- Back of the clipboard: Here’s where it gets really creative. Keith rubber-banded his Flexy-Friend to the back of his clipboard. The minute he has a prep period or a free moment, he can find all of his calendars, to-do lists, meeting notes, and other tools.
We usually recommend teachers carry no more than two items around the building all day, but Keith’s system knocks it down to just one. Bravo!
If you are interested in purchasing these fancy rubber bands (as always, no affiliation, just passing along resources), here’s the link for Keener Rubber Company. Companies that just specialize in rubber bands?! Who knew? We’re sold on this idea!
Thanks, Excel Academy!
Together Teacher Sharing Question: What do you carry with you during the teaching day?