The first article that I wrote on the title ‘5 essential tools that every teacher needs‘ is more about hardware or equipment that a teacher needs in order to efficiently manage his/her time and effort.
This post however, is more about the small paraphernalia that a teacher needs, (beside the basic stationery) to assist him/her in the daily task of checking books and reports or any administrative work. I find these items really pertinent and something that I couldn’t do without. When I went to Egypt, I brought along these stuffs which I had been using in Singapore. But as the months passed by, my supplies ran low and I had to find ways to restock my necessities. We searched all over town but couldn’t find these things anywhere even in modern cites like Cairo and Port Said. Aside from normal cartoon stickers, I couldn’t find any motivational stickers or stamps. I was flabbergasted and felt at a loss. You can say I’m obsessed with these things, but really, I can’t work without them.
Fortunately, when friends of the family were coming from Singapore for a visit, and (fortunately) when they asked what we would like from Singapore, I jumped at the offer and ordered tons of teacher stuffs that I cannot find here. A few of my teacher colleagues asked me to get some for them too because they really like them and find them useful. I felt embarrassed for troubling our Singapore guests because they had to go to the stores to get them for me, but they were kind enough to oblige (and in fact, went to different stores when they couldn’t find the stuff at the store near them). So here are the 10 essential things that I must have with me always when I teach.
1) Motivational Stickers and stamps
These stickers or stamps are a must for me and a favorite among my pupils, even those from high school. They really love them and feel very proud, showing off to their friends when they got one. I don’t only give to those who turned in perfect work, but also to those who don’t do well but put in effort or those whose work is very neat and tidy or simply for handing in early work. There is also an ‘IMPROVED’ stamp to acknowledge students’ improved work. This not only motivates them to do their work better but also neater, cleaner or on time.
2) Reminder Stamp
These stamps are to remind students of their tardy work, their carelessness, their homework or simply to make corrections and to return to me. It gets tired writing those reminders in students’ books so these self-inking stamps really save me lots of time and effort. Furthermore, I don’t have to waste class’ time telling each one student their mistakes or reminding them of incomplete or undone work. This set of stamps was purchased from Singapore Popular Bookstore and can also be found in Malaysia Popular Bookstore. I can’t seem to find it in any other online stores.
3) Date Stamp
Date stamp are important to ensure consistent checking by teachers. Parents and supervisors sometimes have queries regarding past work so stamping the dates on checked work can help to solve and answer some of these queries.
4) Parent’s Signature Stamp
This is a reminder to students to get their parent to sign on a test paper, on an undone or incomplete work or any other reasons.
5) Hole punchers
Printed worksheets sometimes need to be punched so that students can keep them in their files for future references. Besides the traditional 2-hole puncher, these punchers are cute too.
6) Multi-colored double-tipped markers and highlighters
This is very useful if I need to rewrite pupils’ names on their workbook, notebook or poster papers. Pens don’t work very well on the laminated bookcovers or poster papers, so double-tipped markers will come in handy (small and big tip at either ends). I like ‘Pilot’ and ‘Sharpie’ brand. They are durable and long-lasting. Highlighters are good to highlight pupils’ mistakes or to draw their attention to certain important stuffs.
7) Scrapbooking or luminous colored papers
Oh! These are fantastic medium in which you can write thank you notes, welcome notes or simply congratulatory notes to pupils or their parents.
8) Jagged-edged scissors (I can’t find my scissors so this picture is from ebay)
Very useful indeed when you have to make last minute decorative cards or note papers
9) Butterfly and heart-shaped punchers (or any other shaped punchers)
These are cuties. When you’ve run out of stickers or you want a change, these punchers are time savers. I only have these two pink heart-shaped and butterfly punchers. There are other punchers with different shapes and sizes (except for the 1st one, the rest of the pictures are from various sites).
10) Last but not least, paper clips
Paper clips are useful tools to attach reminder notes or complimentary notes to students or when you want students to do corrections on your pre-printed papers or worksheets. The bigger clips prove more useful to me than the smaller ones. And the cute ones, I’ll let the kids keep them as souvenirs.
And I have all these items neatly packed in my cute little box which makes my table neat and tidy and it’s easy to be carried around, if I need to.
Check out some of the above items from Amazon.com at the bottom of my page.
Other suggested and related readings:-
1) These are the basic stationery and other stuffs that every teacher needs
2) This website talks about your own personal collection or portfolios that will be useful to keep
3) These are 5 essential teaching strategies that each teacher should employ
4) And these are 5 web-based tools that can assist teachers in the classroom