Top 10 Teacher Tools
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
When I say the words "teacher tools," I'm not thinking hardware store (although it is a good idea to keep a hammer and a screwdriver around). I mean the items a teacher uses every single day. If you glance about your classroom, you will probably notice some of these tools immediately.
Several of these gems make my job as a teacher so much easier. I would like to share them with you, hoping they will help you, too. Here, then, are my top 10 must-have teacher tools:
1. Pretty Pens
As a teacher I’m always in need of a good pen, so why not have a variety of pretty pens that write well, too? I have a large assortment of colorful dry-erase markers, permanent markers, and writing pens. No matter what my writing needs are, I have the right pen for the job.
2. Label Maker
Is it possible to be in love with something as simple as a label maker? I use my label maker often — some might call it excessive! I like everything marked and want them to be easily seen by others. A label just makes everything seem clean and orderly.
3. Comfy Shoes
Our classroom floors are made of industrial tile. Standing on this type of floor all day can be hard on the back and knees. Every teacher needs a few good pairs of shoes. Of course, shoes that are comfy and pretty are even better.
4. Snack Basket
When the kids have snack time, so does their teacher. Often I find myself working into the early evening, and having a little snack helps to get me through until dinnertime. Of course, a few good pieces of chocolate can’t hurt, either.
5. Book Bags
Like the pens and shoes, I seem to acquire book bags. As teachers, we tend to cart items to and from school. Having a good, sturdy bag makes the chore easier on the back, although best for the back is to leave the books at school! I’m guilty of taking a huge bag home and then back to school the next day without ever having opened the bag.
6. Electric Office Tools
These are a must-have in any classroom. When you have large amounts of stapling or pencil sharpening to do, these electric gems make the tasks go so much faster. TIP: Use separate sharpeners for regular and colored pencils. Colored pencils tend to dull the sharpener blades.
7. Good Paper Cutter
No more running to the office or teacher workroom for me. When I need to cut paper, I just pull out my personal paper cutter. Having this in my classroom saves valuable time.
8. Personal Laminator
So often I find myself creating things during the weekends, late at night, or even early before school. I don’t always have time in the mornings before school to wait for the industrial laminator to heat up — it takes 20 minutes. This pint-sized laminator does the job just fine, and I can quickly laminate all the items I need and have them cut out before the bell rings.
9. ELMO Document Camera
The best invention since sliced bread! This is the item I use all day long. Anything I place under the lens becomes larger than life right before my students' eyes. No matter what I put up on the screen, they are focused and enthralled.
10. Rolling Dry Erase Board/Pocket Chart/Big Book Stand
Like the document camera, this all-purpose easel is used throughout the day for writing, reading big books, building sight words with magnetic letters, and the many pocket chart activities we do.
I’m sure I could add to my list, if I were to take a second glance about my classroom. There are so many items we are accustomed to using every day that it is hard to even imagine working without them. When you think about the items you use daily, do they differ from my list? Did reading my list make you want something you didn’t know you needed?