I’m hoping by this time, you’ve all stocked your school bags with the essential things you need as a substitute teacher. So, with all these Boxing Day deals still going on, I thought I’d give you some suggestions for some non-essential (but still pretty useful) things you could carry with you to the schools and classrooms you get called to. Basically, you’re gonna need a bigger bag.
- A whistle: gym classes are loud, gyms are big, equipment is noisy. If you’re left to cover a gym class, you’re rarely left with the most useful tool of all: a whistle. And really, would you want to be? Who wants to share a whistle? (Gross). If you want to be heard, bring a whistle.
- A stop-watch: also for a gym class. If you need to time a game or a lap, it’s infinitely easier to do so with a stopwatch than it is to do with the wall clock. It’s also good to have so you’re not dependent on your cell phone in a school that may have a very strict cell phone policy.
It’s also a good thing to have with you to time how much time is wasted by nasty classes. Use your professional discretion.
- iPad connector: Maybe you want to look something up as a class. Or maybe you’re put in the position of needing to fill more time. If you don’t have a computer login, this is going to be tricky. But if you have a piece of tech and have a connector, you can tackle those possible problems. If you’re in a classroom with a projector, just pop on to Google or Netflix (because who doesn’t have Netflix these days?) and look up info or put on an appropriate movie. And be sure to tell the teacher you did so. (This is what I have, and I use it all the time. I didn’t spend that much. Thank goodness.)
- Static spray: schools are so dry and I hate it when my hair looks like a science experiment and my blouse or skirt sticks to me all day because of static. A little spritz of static spray and problem solved. Or, I’m an old lady and no one else is bothered by this and it’s just me.
- Hand lotion: in the same vein of dry schools, if your classroom has chalkboards (yes, some still do) and you’re writing on those all day, your hands can get very dry. Or, again, I’m just an old lady.
- Protein bar: this goes back to having something of substance in your bag in case you’re asked to stay the full day at school and you don’t have a lunch with you. However, do exercise caution. A lot of protein bars get their protein content from nuts. A lot of schools are nut-free to avoid allergy issues. Make sure you know the rules of the school/classroom so you’re not putting anyone at risk.
- Rubber boots: very rarely are you told your supervision schedule when you get a substitute call. I can’t tell you how many times I was required to go outside and was not dressed properly. I started leaving rubber boots in my car, just in case. So instead of being an old lady, I’m a small child: inside shoes and outside shoes.
- Phone/tablet chargers: I keep these in my car too. I don’t know; I like having a charged phone and iPad, especially when you’re expected to accept sub calls when at school.
- Box of crackers: (I think I was feeling snacky when I made this list.) If I get hungry during the day, especially if I missed lunch for whatever reason, I want to nibble, but I don’t want to root through another person’s desk or cupboard.
- Bottle of water: this will be the last time I harp on about dry schools, I promise! It goes with crackers, it’s good to be hydrated, it helps to avoid a dry throat from talking/dry schools, it’s just plain good for you. Lots of reasons to carry water with you!
Any non-essential items you carry with you? Let me know in the comments!