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Digital Learning

Don't Go Back to School Without

Some of us are already back in class. Some of us are watching the last days of summer slide all too quickly away. And some of us are watching you all and remembering happy days in the classroom at the start of a fresh and shiny new school year.

Here is a list of my personal favorites, some things I think you should not go back to school without!

A smile! 
Be the happiest teacher in the school. Even if you don't always feel so happy. Research has shown that the simple act of smiling will actually make you feel happy. Smile at everyone you see when you arrive at work. Even the complainers. Respond with a smile and a positive thought. Smile at your students when they arrive. Smile often throughout your lessons and throughout your day. A smile is contagious. As Annie sang, "You're never fully dressed without a smile!" Make that smile part of your back to school wardrobe! 

A little piece of home!  
Bring something to school with you that will make it feel a little more like home. It will be your home for most of your waking hours for five days a week for the next 10 or 11 months! Make it homey! I always liked to keep my favorite hand lotion on my desk, and of course some photos of my family and my dog. 
Can we talk about the teacher's rest room for a second here? I know! Can you hold it for the WHOLE day just to avoid that place? Didn't think so! Try bringing in a little basket of nice toiletry items that you would use in your powder room at home. Replace them when they get used up. Make it your back to school gift, Christmas gift, etc., to colleagues. I made sure to keep my favorite hand soap in that teacher rest room all year long. It made me happy when the room smelled like Sea Island Cotton after the last person washed her hands. 
And just one more rest room thought before we go. Is it often left in just a little worse shape than you have hoped so that you find yourself cleaning EVERYTHING before you use the facilities? Well, I made a cute little meme, laminated it, and hung it on the wall. Frame it if you like - it will have even more impact. Don't tell anyone it came from you. Just smile every time you enter a clean space when you have like 30 seconds to use that bathroom and get back to your class! Here's one just to show you what I meme. 

You're welcome!

Erasable pens!  
You will thank yourself every day if you have a set of erasable pens in your teacher bag and another set on your desk. OK, I'm a little OCD on this one. And a set in my purse, and another set on my desk at home....  Get the idea? The greatest invention ever for marking papers and for commenting on them. I bought one set at first to use in my planner, but then... found that they had so many more uses. At meetings, you can write what you're really thinking on that exit slip, then cleanly erase it and write the politically correct thought. When you mark papers and make a mistake, no one will EVER no! ummm....know!  

My favorites are Frixion by Pilot. Get some now! Don't go back without them! 

A custom bundle from Rainbow City Learning
 You will also thank yourself for this one! I promise! All materials in my TpT store are based on many years of classroom experience, research, and training. They are all kid-tested, tested in other classrooms, and teacher-approved. But maybe they don't all fit your needs and you're wishing that you could get a bundled price, but choose your own items. Here it is! The resource you have been waiting for! (Didn't even know you've been waiting, did 'ja?) 
Hope you'll download this free look at it and let me know which items you'd like in a personalized bundle named just for you!

For even more ideas on things you should definitely not go back without, check out these posts by the Sharing is Caring Blog Cooperative.


  1. I so agree with you about the smile. It's so important to bring some sunshine into your classroom, esp when you don't really want to be there.

  2. A smile is so necessary! (Even when you don't feel like it.) I like your custom bundle ... Great Idea!

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  5. I love your tip for bringing a piece of home into the classroom! I also have frames of my family, a little box with (fake) succulents (I kill the real ones), and yummy smelling hand lotion. You're right; those little things make a difference! :)