An alternative to the famous cart
When I first found out I was going to be a floater I quickly Googled the hell out of the topic and found a few good tips/tricks and the famous cart. I have read plenty of good reviews about using a cart and have seen a few pretty tricked out ones that are kind of cool, but this does not suit my reality. I travel to 5 different classrooms throughout the day most of which prevent me from using a cart in one way or another. The classroom is either to small to hold a chunky, clunky cart (some of the classrooms I visit are seriously small!) or the road to said classroom is too treacherous for it to travel smoothly. It would either be in my way most of the time or it would be too hard to get from point A to point B. So a cart was simply not in the stars form me. Still, I needed something to get me and my materials from classroom to classroom without having to carry it all in my arms. I did that the first day and boy was it a huge mistake. I kept dropping and losing things along the way and now everyone knows me as the clumsy teacher!
Enter the teacher bag. There are quite a few teacher bags out there that you can use to carry your things around but I have found that the ones that work best are those that aren’t too big (the bigger they are the more junk you tend to put in them) and have plenty of pockets to put your supplies in neatly. This is my current bag. It was a present from one of my 3rd graders:
It has two side pockets, three front pockets and an extra pocket on the inside. The strap is adjustable and it also has handles so I can carry it around like a briefcase. Plus its a pretty shade of pink and purple (though the crappy cell phone pic doesn’t do it justice).
It’s big enough to hold both my binders (more on hose here), my teacher’s guide, and my practice book. I use the extra pockets for my school supplies (pens, extra pencils calculator, and all the sorts). It’s really the perfect size an since I can’t over stuff it I don’t have any trouble carrying it around.
I also have an expanding folding crate for when I have to pick up the kids workbooks and notebooks or for when I have a few extra materials (activities, centers, etc) that I can’t carry in the bag.
I don’t always drag it around with me, only when I need to.
Lastly, I always ask the homeroom teachers if I can have a small space in their classroom to keep a few things. This helps me not to carry around any extra stuff. You can have a filing box, folders, or even an expandable, really whatever works for you. Just be sure to keep your weeks handouts or worksheets, some extra blank sheets of papers, activities for your early finishers, and for when you need to fill in some extra time. That way you won’t have to worry that you forgot to bring something or you left it in the previous room! Plus you won’t have to drag it around in your bag all day which will just make it heavier and uncomfortable.
So far this system has been working for me. There are still a few tweaks here and there that I need to do iron out but nothing too big. How about you? What do you do to get from classroom to classroom? Hast the cart worked for you or are you faced with my same dilemma?
The first 1 would be great for a male teacher, the third one is quite fashionable, and I would absolutely looooove the fourth one!
And the tales begin...
Hey everyone I am a first year 3rd grade English teacher working at a private school in which the students never leave the classroom and the teachers are the ones that rotate. I know, it’s weird, it sucks. They say it’s to avoid problems when the students are in the hall but it just causes me to struggle more and the students to get extra restless!
Needless to say, it’s been quite a tough semester for me, not just because I’m new and still learning the ropes but because not having my own classroom just blows (sorry bout the description but it totally does and any other floating teacher will tell you exactly the same). You have to carry all your stuff around, you risk forgetting something , It’s harder to improvise (I’m not saying you should, but hey, sometimes things happen and you just need to), the students feel it is their classroom and you’re the one invading it therefore their behavior tends to be terrible, and it just makes it ten times harder to do anything.
But since the end of the first semester and after that long awaited and needed Christmas break I have done a lot of thinking and strategic preparation to make things go smoother during the second semester, and that’s what this tmblr blog will be all about. I’ll share my trials and tribulations as well as my success stories in hopes that I m able to help other floaters out there. If anything, at least so we don’t feel alone!
So stay tuned cause there are plenty more post to come!
Crazy Binder Lady
I love binders. Nay, I am obsessed with them. I think everything is better if it’s in a binder. It’s a teacher’s best friend. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your every need and you can constantly rearrange things in them as many times as you want (this totally works for me since I am constantly changing and updating things!) . I just find them to be super practical and they always help keep me extra organized.
Usually I’m a “bigger is better” type of girl when it comes to these babies but as a floater carrying around a big ol’ binder just doesn’t work. Trust me on this, I tried. I thought that since I’d be moving around a lot I’d just carry around one binder with everything in it but the thing got waaaaay out of control. I kept stuffing things in, I could never find anything and it became super heavy. So to fix said problem I decided to divide that one huge binder into three separate 1/2 inch binders:
1 for my 3rd Grade English Class
1 for my 5th Grade Calligraphy Class
and 1 for keeping track of student behavior
My English binder holds a calendar so I can keep track of the days, a super cute to do list which I got from Scribd, An overview of the topics I will be covering that week, My lesson plans for said week, and my grade book. I know it sounds like a lot but it’s really not. Just the basic necessities. They are all done by me or ”borrowed” from all of he wonderful teacher out there in blog land and I simply print them out, whole punch them and place them in so I’m ready to go! (My Calligraphy binder is divided in pretty much the same way)
My student behavior binder contains a zipper pouch so I can keep stickers and coupons in, a small version of my clipchart for quick reference, my star student rewards list, a point tracker for each group, and an anecdotal record for when things get a little out of hand. I’ll make a post with more details about my behavior binder later on.
(I also have a big binder where I store all of my old lesson plans. That one needs a little TLC but hopefully I’ll get to it soon.)
Now that I have 3 binders it’s much easier to carry all of them around. I have English classes during the mornings so I only carry my English and Behavior binder with me, and after lunch I switch up the English binder for the Calligraphy one and I’m all set. Also, since they are not very big it keeps me from stuffing extra stuff in them. I’m a natural hoarder but as a floater I’ve had to learn to keep my hoarding under control!