What to buy as your summer dies

It’s that time of the year. Summer is circling the drain.You’ve not been to in service yet or been into your classroom, but school supplies are out in stores. It is tempting to blow all your money hoarding  supplies. DON’T. Here is the scrappyteachermom.com approved list of things to waste your money on this week.

  1. Pens for you

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Buy grading colors and regular legal document colors. Neurotically label them with brightly-colored tape and your last name.

2. Something for your team. (I went popsicle sticks.)

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The people on your team are the people in the trenches with you. You need them when the going gets tough, personally or professionally. If you have a great family of a team(I DO!), let them know you love them with a start of the year gift. If your team is a little off, do what you can to cultivate an atmosphere of caring. (lots of breakfast may help)

I don’t have to tell you what Popsicle sticks are for, but you can read more here: 3 Lazy-Person Crafts you could be doing Right Now!

My lazy person craft got even lazier on account of I have small children who love to paint. This kept them busy a few hot summer afternoons.

3. A Cheap Desk Calendar (for the wall)

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Yes the picture is sideways. No I will not do anything about it. I blog the same way I craft, cook, and clean…under great duress.

You can binder, or fancy planner yourself to death. What will come of it? You stop using it faithfully when the year gets hairy and feel bad that you invested time and money in something cute.

The desk calendar is your answer, but you should hang it on the wall next to your desk and only take it down to write on it. On the wall it can’t be lost or buried. Kids stare at it. There is accountability in it. They will shame you if they’ve been studying your calendar and you stop filling it in.  Tearing off and trashing past months means you aren’t keeping anything. Keeping things is a recipe for mess.

Don’t write plans on it now. You haven’t been to the district trainings yet for them to tell you everything you love is wrong. I usually just do one or two weeks at a time. I tried to halfway setup a week or two to show you. Crane your neck. It is also sideways.

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*I use the Sunday column for to-do lists.

*I use the Saturday column to label weeks 1-9 of the grading period and assignments I intend to take for a grade that week.

*The actual weekday boxes have a color coded section (just highlight after you write, not fancy) for what we are doing in each subject.

*The bottom of each weekday box is for my personal calendar or noting other school events.

This is the system I have used for the past four years. Two years ago I tried to go all fancy spiral and it took me a few weeks to go back to my cheap old friend.

Do you take that giant thing to meetings with you? You may wonder. No. I take trash to meetings with me. I write on trash. I transfer it to my big calendar and then recycle it. Sometimes I cut and glue it in the margins. Is writing it twice just extra work? No. It helps my fragile brain that is full of old movie quotes and past student names commit important things to memory. When that fails, I just have to look at the wall.

4. Pay to Laminate Something You’re Going to Want Right Away

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Our copy-room runs at astonishing speeds and levels of efficiency. Most likely I would be able to submit things and get them in time for the first day of school. What you’re paying for here, is peace of mind. Also, unlike the other three things, this is an extravagance.

I’m laminating my turn-it-in folders for my inbox. (one color for AM class and one for PM per subject.) I describe that system some in this same old post 3 Lazy-Person Crafts you could be doing Right Now!

I have used the same un-laminated ones for the last two years. I’m impressed they lasted that long. It was time for new ones, so I wildly hole-punched fancy font pages at the kitchen counter while my screaming children pants-ed me repeatedly.

You could wait for access to the workroom. It is sensible. It’s just that here, I uncharacteristically suggest that you treat yourself.

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