Last week I wrote about self care for my Teacher Tuesday post in part because I’d had a tough week and needed to use all my best self-care strategies to come out the other end feeling strong and confident.
And TA-DA! Here I am! Still alive! And excited for a 4-day-work week!
Part of getting through last week was also staying (somewhat) organized, nourished, and healthy. When I first started teaching, I was constantly sleep deprived, constantly left graded papers at home when they should’ve been at school or vice versa, and sustained myself on more coffee than you can even imagine. Not surprisingly, I ended up with bronchitis three times during my first year on the job, and constantly felt like I had no place in the adult world.
Over time I’ve figured things out. I’ve (mostly) stopped mindlessly scrolling and procrastinating. I developed good habits and helpful strategies for keeping my life in order.
And I found the right gear. It took me a couple of years of trial and error to figure all this out, but now I’ve got seven items that I literally never head off to work without.
1) Scout Uptown Girl Bag: Guys, this bag is awesome. There are bigger pockets on the front for your pen case, emergency umbrella, keys, etc. The large compartment fits my planner, macbook, thermos and water bottle perfectly. I even squeeze my lunch in sometimes. I also love that if something spills in there, it’s made out of waterproof material. It’s also only $36 bucks and lasts for YEARS!
2) Five Star Flex Note-Binder: I create my own teacher/life planner using one of these. I just print up the customizable schedule pages that work best for me, and add in a section for a to-do list, plus some page protectors for forms I need often, like my class schedule and rosters. I like having a planner that is completely customized for me, and I like how lightweight these flex note-binders are.
3) Papermate InkJoy Pens: These are the best. I mean, flair pens are a classic, and I have those too. But I love these InkJoys! I actually grabbed a jumbo pact at my local wholesale store at the start of the year and it made me so flippin happy. I love using these to color code my planner, too, because I am a nerd.
4) Thermos : Now that I work out in the mornings fairly often, I don’t love to have a bunch of hot liquid sloshing around in my stomach first thing. So I fill this lovely contraption with tea or coffee before I head out the door and it’s still piping hot during my first prep block of the day when I begin sipping on it.
5) Ello Glass Water Bottle: As a long distance runner as well as a teacher, hydrating throughout the day is so, so clutch. I like to avoid plastics as much as possible, so a glass water bottle was a no-brainer for me. But the flip top on my overpriced LifeFactory bottle kept opening in my bag and almost demolished my computer once. So I switched to the (much cheaper, available at target) Ello glass water bottle and I love it so much! It’s the perfect size, and the ribbon is perfect for toting it from class to class all day.
6) Lunchbox: Teachers- this is important, so read closely. PACK. ALL. THE. SNACKS. Like, legit. Hangriness+ Teaching= Boarder-line Criminal Behavior Is Imminent. You need to bring lunch and snacks. You might think you’ll have time to go out and buy lunch, then a kid has a meltdown and you spend your whole lunch block running between deans offices and administrator’s offices. Lunchboxes are the best. I actually don’t own this exact one, but I own a very similar one from the same company and it’s my fave.
7) Portable Hand Sanitizer: I wear one of these on a lanyard around my neck throughout the school day. I swear I am not a germaphobe; but seriously teenagers are gross. I know this because I was one once. So I hand sanitize every time I do any of the following things:
- Collect papers from my perpetually sniffly students
- Help a student organize his/her gross backpack
- Get coughed on by a student
- Have to pick up a used tissue that a student was not polite enough to throw away themselves
- Help a sniffly student make his/her computer (which is covered in their sniffle juice) work.
- Before I begin eating
If you’re not a teacher, you might think that some of these items *ahem, 5-pack of hand sani ahem* aren’t necessary for a day at the office. Some teachers might even feel the same way. But I honestly cannot imagine my teaching life without these items. They are the best. They are my rocks. They help make it possible for me to teach full time, take on numerous side jobs, train for a marathon, do volunteer work, and still be a good friend/daughter/sister/cousin.
Adulting is hard, but it gets easier when you find the right tools:)
Now You Tell Me…
- What helps you “adult” properly?
- Any items you’d add to my list? Tips?
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