October 25, 2006
Last year (after 20 years of teaching), I had to spend a year as a 'traveling teacher.' I have the following suggestions for those who have to do the same. 1) Purchase a portable dolly (some call these trucks). It should be sturdy enough to withstand the traveling. (I went from building to building with it). 2) Purchase a four-drawer plastic container - the kind you see in household goods or office supply stores. 3) Get a milk carton to hold hanging files. 4) Attach all of these items on the dolly with bungee cords. 5) In the hanging folders: A) each class has a folder for assignments to be turned in; B) a folder for current handouts; C) a folder for past week's handouts (for makeup work); D) a folder for announcements; E) a folder for excuse notes -- a folder for anything needed to keep track of what would normally be available to students on a desk. 6) The drawers in the traveling container hold: pencils, pens, Band-Aids, hall passes, paper, stapler, glue, tape -- all those things normally in a desk or in a supply cabinet. 7) In the larger drawers, carry a copy of the textbook and an extra textbook or two for those who forget theirs. It is important to have a very good relationship with the teacher you are misplacing from the room. Make sure that teacher understands your needs, and most importantly you understand the teacher's. Try to have a shelf or two for things you can keep in the classroom and never, ever erase what is on the board without permission. Imagine what it would be like to be displaced during YOUR plan period. Treat the teacher with that thought in mind, and you will be successful.