My Teaching Artist Survival Kit

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions. Mostly because I forget them easily, and writing them down just makes me feel guilty when I change my mind about what I want my goals to be. But one resolution I had for my teaching artist life was finally accomplished in the first week of the new year, and I want to show it off!

For anyone who knows me even a little bit, I’m sure one of the first words they would use to describe me would be ORGANIZED.  So how come it took me this long to put together a teaching artist bag with all my must have items? Probably because this fellowship at Metro is the first job I’ve had where I am regularly going to and from home, the office and multiple school sites for residencies. I love having a place to put things I might need for my various classes, as well as class-specific materials. Organization is my happy place. Again, I’m sure none of you are surprised.

Right now my survival kit includes:

  • My MTC name tag. 
  • Green ginger tea (mostly so I never run out of tea at the office if I need a burst of energy)
  • Airborne because schools are full of germs.
  • Hand sanitizer because schools are full of germs.
  • Deodorant. We all get sweaty when we teach. Just admit it.
  • Cough drops! (Especially important if you think you might be losing your voice while teaching. That’s no fun, right LCT summer 2011 friends?)
  • A purse/bag organizer. This was a college graduation gift from two of my lovely teaching artist friends and mentors- thanks Margo and Megan!
  • Water bottle. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
  • Chap stick because I’m compulsive about it.
  • Dry-erase markers. I’ve found that it’s always great to have a back up if you’re in a room that doesn’t have them or if they stop working.
  • Residency specific materials: right now that means name tags and passports for our 28 second graders at Jefferson Elementary that are going on a trip around the world through creative drama.
  • My beloved green game journal where I write all of the activities I know as I learn them. Almost 120 so far!
  • My lesson planning/reflection notebook, where I park all of my thoughts before and after classes. So far I love keeping a log of my fellowship year with Metro. This is where a lot of ArtSmart posts are born!
  • Not pictured: finger cymbals! When all other control devices fail, there’s always the pretty chiming sound!
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