Teacher Tip #2

This is for all the newbies:

Always have extra clothing–and shoes.

I don’t care if you teach pre-kindergarten or 12th grade English, teaching is a messy business.

I learned this the hard way. Trust me–just have something extra available.

In my car I kept a tank top and a spare pair of pants. In my classroom, I had a T-shirt, pants, running shoes, and flats. For my own safety and for my own peace of mind, I started to keep this stash on-hand after my first year of teaching. And yes, everything was not only needed at some point or another, everything was needed multiple times.


I have stepped in vomit, I have been sneezed on, I have sat in urine.

I have tried to fix the copier and the ink cartridge exploded on me. I have slipped in grass and on the concrete for no reason. I have had both tops and bottoms get caught on something and rip.

I have spilled my coffee while trying to talk and drink said coffee–multi-tasking is hard. I have tried opening milk, and it’s a lot harder than it looks.

I have leaned against a counter and a desk, and my shirt came back with mysterious stains. I have had food wiped on me because I was mistaken for a napkin.

Primary was messier than intermediate for me, but it’s all a mess.

When you’re dealing with developing children, you’re stressed, there’s food and drink around, there’s lots of movement happening–you just never know what might get stained, wet, or ripped, so always have some spare clothing handy–trust me, someday you’ll be grateful you do.

Learning is messy. Just pack some extra clothes. 



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