As a student teacher, one needs to be prepared for every possibility. When you’re prepared, you’ll feel more confident and ready to focus on the task at hand. As such, consider putting together a student teaching survival kit that can help get you through your time as a student teacher as unscathed as possible. Here are some things that I would recommend adding to your kit.
Have a student teaching binder on hand where you can keep all of your lesson plans together. Have a separate place for notes on students, journal entries about things that you learned, etc.
Your binder is also a great place to keep other things like the class roster, seating chart, disciplinary papers, contact numbers, and a list of filler activities that you can easily find when you need them.
I have a knack for losing pens. It doesn’t matter how many I buy in bulk; I always end up struggling to find any when I need them. During student teaching, I wasn’t any better. Sure, I could rely on my mentor teacher or run to the school supply closet. But I also had several pens that I only used in emergencies. My student teaching survival kit contained my secret stash of classroom supplies that I could use whenever I needed them. Some of the other supplies you could include are notecards, extra batteries, safety pins, dry erase markers or chalk, pencils, erasers, elastic bands, and paper clips.
You have your morning coffee to get you through the first half the day, but by afternoon, you might feel your energy draining. Keep energy-boosting snacks on hand that you can munch on when you get hungry. Pick non-perishable items, such as nuts, crackers, candies, or popcorn. If your students have snack time, you might want to bring a few extra snacks for the times that someone forgets their snacks from home.
It’s also a good idea to keep frozen meals in the teacher’s lounge for days that you end up staying late. Make sure to clearly label the food with your name to increase the chances that it’ll still be there when you want it.
As difficult as it is to miss days of teaching, many teachers end up teaching until they’re too contagious to be in the building. As such, it’s important to keep plenty of medications on hand to get you through the day. Some of the medications to include in your student teaching survival kit are:
- Cough drops
- Allergy medications
- Cold and sinus medications
- Nail clippers
Sometimes in your haste to get to school early, you forget to brush your teeth or apply deodorant. Or you might have to stay late for parent-teacher conferences or back-to-school night, and you don’t have time to rush home and freshen up.
For these situations, consider keeping plenty of toiletries on hand. On top of deodorant and a toothbrush and toothpaste, add a hair brush, extra hair bands, makeup, lotion, a sewing kit, and nylons. Think about items that you might need in a hurry, and make sure to keep it in your kit.
What else would you add to your student teacher survival kit? Include your ideas in the comments below.