Goal 11: Build Your Teacher’s Survival Kit of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. Click the link to find out more about the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators.
“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” ~ Patricia Neal
This year with the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, our 30 Goals Facebook community is voting to determine some of the goals which are mostly from the previous 3 cycles. This year’s theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal will focus on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments.
My Take on the Goal
When I first began teaching, I remember meeting a veteran teacher who carried a big bag with her everywhere. I forgot what the situation was but I remember her coming to the rescue with masking tape, scissors, and Post It notes. She told me she always carried those things among other items like dry erase markers, poster putty, and so forth as a teacher, because she had learnt that situations always arise when she needed these items. That left a huge impression on me and I kept thinking of this as a survival kit. As a teacher, I have learnt that the most valuable skill you can have is flexibility. Situations always arise when you need to adapt or think on your toes and save the day. There are times when the unexpected happens like you have a fire drill, people begin to observe your class, you have to take over a class, or your students need some change. These types of situations often pop up with not much warning. My teacher survival kit which sometimes people think of as a “bag of tricks” gets me out of a lot of potential disaster situations, because like the 1980s Dry Idea deodorant commercials used to say, “Never let them see you sweat.” When the teacher panics it all goes haywire. My survival kit is full of ideas to get students on their toes thinking and working with the material. My kit has the ability to woe observers as I turn questioning period into a game or get children to sit down, roll a ball around, and play an icebreaker. I don’t have a bag of tricks. Instead, I have well-known learning strategies that I need to reference from time to time to change up the routine or use as a learning fill-in or warmer. These strategies could work all the time but I have my curriculum and it is already filled with other instructional strategies.
Over the years I have found items that I try to carry with me in an area, cart, or bag that are part of my teacher’s survival kit. I have taught various classes of 2 year-olds, toddlers, children, adolescents, teens, college students and adults since 1996. A few items are always in my “teacher’s survival kit” no matter the age, which include sticky notes, a timer, ball, masking tape, scissors, blank paper, note cards, and dry erase markers. For the past 2 years, I have included in this kit, my iPad with apps that work offline and my smart phone. Depending on the age group, I also will carry crayons, playdough, puppets, a felt board, a jump rope, recycled materials, shoe boxes (used to collect loads of these), paper grocery bags, straws, paper clips, rubber bands, and cups. Below is a Glogster of my survival kit for working with young learners to adults when I was in Germany. I had a shelf, because I didn’t have a set classroom. Instead, I would have to cart in any materials. When we finished an activity too early or I saw that I was losing my students with the planned lesson, I would begin throwing a ball around to instigate questioning or put a line of masking tape on the ground and stage a yes/no debate.
Short-term- Create your own teacher’s survival kit. Then share the items in your teacher’s survival kit and ideas how you use these items. You can use Thinglink, with a free IOS app, or Glogster to make it visible with links.
Long-term- Continue to add items to your survival kit and learn strategies from others then conduct a workshop in which you show other teachers how to build their survival kits.
Glogster: My Teacher’s Survival Kit
- Theodora Pap’s Survival Kit
- 30+ Ways Thinglink used in Edu by Lisa Johnson
- Survival Kit for Teaching Kids English
- Cell phone activities offline
- Ball activities including how to introduce yourself & inspire question/answering
- Puppet Activities
- Jump Rope Games
- Masking tape activities besides putting a line on the ground for pro/con debates
- Playdoh lesson plans besides creating what the teacher describes. I usually describe an alien, new animal or monster my kids have to recreate with my verbal instructions then they break in pairs and do this. A follow-up is writing where this creature lives and creating its home from the playdough
- Feltboard Activities
Build your teacher survival kit & share some of the methods with us!
Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.
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