What every elementary teacher needs to keep the school day running smoothly!

I read a great blog-post recently about what middle school teachers need in their desks (you can read it here if interested), and it got me thinking about those things that I couldn't live without in my desk at school.  These are things that allow me to teach, keep kids in class and learning, and make sure that my day goes smoothly.

1.  lip stuff - If you teach in a colder climate, or have students with anxiety issues, this is a must!  If you've ever seen a student like this:

then you know what I'm talking about, and we all know that it can be painful.  The trick here is to buy the stuff that comes in a squeezable tube (like the Carmex below).  You can squeeze it right onto the student's finger and they can apply it to their own lips.  Don't buy the stuff that comes in a lipstick-like tube!
2.  bandages - Elementary school kids love their bandages!  But you don't love losing valuable learning time while they go down to the office to get one.  Important thing to remember here is to not buy the cute fancy ones.  Just buy the plain old generic ones or you will have the entire class at your desk begging for a bandage.
3.  Cup-O-Noodles - not the healthiest option, but perfect for those days when you leave your lunch sitting on the kitchen counter or they are serving something questionable in the lunchroom.

4.  graham crackers - I always keep a package of graham crackers in my desk for the student that didn't get breakfast that morning.  Unfortunately, it happens occasionally.  You don't want to get something too tasty or you will have everyone claiming hunger first thing in the morning!

5.  headache relief - I use this one more often that I like to admit!  I usually buy the large bottle at the beginning of the school year and it lasts the school year.

6.  vomit absorbing powder - Ewwww!  But you know it happens!!  You also know that the custodian can't always get to your room right away to clean it up.  Sprinkle some powder over the mess, the smell goes away, and you can get back to teaching.  Before you buy this one, ask your custodian for it.  Mine gave a bag to every teacher in the school!  You can use baking soda for this also, but it doesn't work as well.

7.  yarn - It seems like every year I have a boy who can't seem to keep his pants pulled up.  I take a small piece of yarn, loop it between two of his belt loops, pull and tie -  instant waist cincher!  The yarn also comes in handy for many other purposes.

8.  lotion -  I wash my hands a lot to keep away kiddo germs, and it drives me crazy when they get dry and chapped.  I buy a bottle at the beginning of the school year, and it usually lasts until summer.  The kids like to use it, too.

9.  cell phone charger - I have one at home, and one at school.  The one at school has been a life-saver on more than one occasion!

10.  safety pins - No need to send a student home for a broken strap or small hole, just pin it!  I also keep a needle and thread for the same reason.

11.  eyeglass repair kit - You can buy a small (it usually comes in a little plastic tube) eyeglass repair kit at your local pharmacy or Wal-Mart.  The kit will contain a tiny screwdriver, tiny screws, and nose pads.  I can't count how many times a kid has come in from recess with a broken pair of glasses and I was able to take of the problem without having to send them home.

Have you found anything that is essential to your desk?  Please share!

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