I have my first cold of the year. As teachers, we don’t stop for the minor nuisance of a runny nose and scratchy throat. We drink our coffee (or tea), take Advil, and tough it out.
But even so, we still need to care for ourselves. And even when we’re not sick, we need a few things close by to help us keep at our best.
So here are the must-have items to have at your desk. Be sure to consider some of these when you contribute to a care package for your child’s teacher or one of your colleagues who enjoys being a teacher, too.
Caffeine. Teaching well requires concentration and energy. I recommend the caffeine from green tea or green coffee. Both those sources provide health benefits without making you as jittery as black coffee can.
Advil or Tylenol. Whether it’s cold season or you’re lacking sleep due to late night grading, your choice of painkiller is essential to keep in a desk drawer. If you don’t need it, a colleague might!
Zinc. I’ve tried all the homeopathic and natural remedies for a cold (including the teacher-created brand). I find that zinc is the single most effective approach to lessen the duration of my colds, and will usually prevent it from becoming a sinus infection.
Deodorant. It’s so easy to forget things as you’re rushing out the door thinking about your day. You don’t want to start your teaching day worrying about sweating. Keep deodorant in your desk just in case. (And in a pinch, you can use hand-sanitizer. It kills the bacteria that causes the odor in the first place. With hand-sanitizer you may have to use it more than once during the day.)
Toothpaste & Toothbrush. You may remember your deodorant but forget to brush your teeth. There’s nothing worse than a student flinching as you provide feedback or ask a question. Travel sizes are the best sizes.
Mirror. Many stores sell magnetic mirrors you can stick on the side of your desk. Always check yourself after lunch for food stuck in your teeth. Wouldn’t you hate to be THAT teacher?
Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or just starting out, you need to care for yourself so you can care for you kids. We’re still the greatest resource for our students!