My philosophy behind streamlined packing (see yesterday’s post), is a tribute to my mother who says, “if you forget it, you can always run out and get it”. Contrary to traveling, “running out to get it” is not an option when you’re working. There is nothing worse than a hang nail that needs picking, a paper cut that seeps onto a stack of papers, or foot pain that causes you to remain stationary at your desk.
You never know when you, a student, or a colleague is going to need one of these essentials:
Ream of copy paper: You never know when the copy room will run out, and one ream is enough to print any essential papers that you may need. This has been a lifesaver for me!
Footwear: I am known to arrive at school wearing mismatched footwear because I’ve left behind the pair that I actually need for my outfit under my desk. The one pair that I am sure to have in my desk drawer is a basic flat that will match with anything. Nothing fancy, just a pair that I can throw on if my pumps are bothering me, my shoes get wet on the way to school, etc.
Slippers & Socks: I picked up a pair of cable-knit cream slippers for $1.97 at Target about two years ago. They don’t owe me a thing! I wear them as soon as the bell rings at the end of the day. I’m not embarrassed to wear them throughout the halls at the end of the day since they can almost double as a ballet flat. I also keep an extra pair of socks in case I’m wearing nylons and need to change out.
Note cards: You never know when a student drops a gift on your desk. I keep an assorted pack of note cards, a few birthday cards, AND sympathy cards tucked inside my desk drawer. They have come in handy many times and I never miss an opportunity to Congratulate someone or send along my condolences.
Make up Portfolio: I purchased this kit on Gilt Group about a year ago. I use it for traveling when I want to pack light, and also keep it in my desk drawer. Although I
rarely never wear make up to work, I like to keep it in case I make last-minute plans to go out after work.
Bobby Pins and Hair Elastics: Things that are important to middle school students don’t always seem obvious. In a tour to incoming students, I overheard a tour guide informing the new class about the essentials for my room: “Miss O. is really fun, she gives a lot of homework, AND she wears her hair on top of her head!” Very important information. When the students wait to enter my room, they can always tells if I’m in a good mood based on my hairstyle. Hair on top of the head usually means we’re going to get down to business and the previous class may have required a little elbow grease, aka, hair up! If I can’t find an elastic I use clips, clothespins, or anything else that does the trick.
Cleaning Products: Clorox wipes, wet wines, hand sanitizer, and Febreeze are self-explanatory essentials.
Toothpaste/Toothbrush/Mints: I’m a dental hygiene fanatic. This means, brushing my teeth after eating breakfast (if I prepare oatmeal at school) and always after lunch. There is nothing worse than a teacher with bad breath. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Wrinkle Releaser & Tide Stick: Ironing is a hobby of mine, but sometimes you just never know. Also, suit jackets tend to get wrinkled when you wear them all day. If you need to freshen up before going out after work, the wrinkle releaser can be a magic potion. Who can possibly eat lunch without spilling when you’re simultaneously helping students with homework, retests, projects, etc. Students will love it too if they have an occasion spill or marking on their clothing.
Feminine Products: I never remember to pack them in my bag, so I keep a stash at school at all times. Half the box usually goes to my students, but if it saves them a trip to the clinic, or embarrassment, I’m happy to be of service. Maybe it will teach them to be prepared when they become an independent woman.
Band-Aids: I rarely let students out of my room for the bathroom, clinic, or any other matter. A small cut can easily be remedied with a stock of your own band-aids.
Tea: A necessity for late nights, early mornings, rainy days, cold winter nights, “sick but I’m still going to work” days etc. (basically, every day out of the year)
Nail File: I can not get through my day if I’m constantly picking at my nails. I’ve used regular scissors until I realized a nail file needed a home in my desk drawer.
Snacks: I keep a stash of healthy snacks in my desk at all times, no.matter.what. Dried fruit and nuts are a good thing to give you enough energy to hold over into the the after school hours.
There you have it! The essentials. If it seems like you have a packed desk, keep a concealed bag under your desk to store some of these items! You can thank me later.