Thursday, May 27, 2010

teacher tip: be Mary Poppins. or Marty Poppins, if you're a dude.

Purses and man-satchels are magic. We’re lucky we’re humans and get to use them! Can bears and chipmunks carry around cool stuff in decorative pouches? If you’re not couting giant paws or cheeks, heck no!

Take full advantage of whatever bag you tote and stock it with things that would make a singing British nanny sigh with wonder. With a gleam of cockeyed optimism in your eye and a bit of roominess in your bag, you may just become education’s answer to McGyver.

Helpful items to keep on hand/in yr fanny packs:

-A digital camera. Duh.

-Pens and/or pencils. Double duh.

-Paper. Always. OMG, get to the good stuff right? Hold on to your satchel. I’m getting there.

-Novelty keychains/the odd finger puppet. There are a million things you can do with a finger puppet. Storytelling exercises, having kids put on mini plays, heck, even therapy sessions can be aided by a little bit o’ adorable. If Mac mania isn’t proof enough, everybody, no matter their age, loves toys. Keep one on you and see if it doesn’t get put to some creative (NOT GROSS) use soon enough.

-MP3 player + Headphones. You probably have this on you anyway, and it’s a great go-to if you want to have an impromptu soundtrack to your class or a song show + tell. I enjoy lording my headphones over kids who are required to turn theirs over before class starts, and lend them out as a privilege. Cruel to be kind, yo.

-A colored Sharpie Marker. They make middle schoolers think you’re cool, and are good for randomly inspired poster-making sessions. Yes, the latter happens.

-A slim, age-appropriate book. Sometimes having a solid book on hand is enough to calm a restless student, engage a brooding or bored one, or use to punish a wild one into the joy of reading. You can’t go too wrong with The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros or any of the Runaways comics by Bryan K. Vaughan.

K. Best of luck diffusing boredom bombs and spoonful of sugaring knowledge.

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