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Teaching Tips
 
We wish that we could claim credit for coming up with all of these great ideas! They are culled from many teachers' years of experience. If you have a useful idea you would like to share, please email us (link below).
 
General Advice for Teachers: Carpooling and Bathroom Bags
 
Carpool! Don't be afraid to ask around and find out if one of your coworkers lives nearby and wouldn't mind picking you up, or having you pick her or him up, in exchange for gas money ($20 a week should work). Set an example for environmental awareness and action!
 
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Keep a supply of frequently-used items in your classroom.
 
Some teachers keep a hidden tampon/pad supply. You will save many teenage girls from panicking if you do this. A trip to the nurse can take up an entire class period, but a trip to your desk will take twenty seconds.
 
One teacher we know, from a low-income school, came up with the idea of a "bathroom bag." She filled a tote bag with spray deodorant, mouthwash, tampons, sanitary napkins, a roll of toilet paper, and other personal hygiene items. This saved students embarrassment because no one knew if a student needed a tampon or was simply worried the bathroom was out of toilet paper. The bag hung near the door and students who wanted to use it simply carried it with them to the lavatory. Students were so thrilled to be able to freshen up on bathroom trips that they never abused the privilege.
 
Handling Teacher Absences
 
Create and maintain a useful folder or box for substitute teachers. Principals know that a good indication you are doing well is when the substitute covering your class has no complaints. We have the necessary forms under "Substitute Teaching Emergency Kit" and "Teacher Forms."
 
Make sure that your substitute lesson plans can be carried out by anyone. Substitute teachers generally have a B.A., but it may not be in Advanced Physics. A Political Science major may not recall the structure of a story. Assume that the substitute does not know the content of your course, and plan accordingly.
 
Your Public Persona
 
Be very careful with any personal information that is publicly accessible. If you insist on having a Facebook or MySpace profile, keep it private and do not have an embarrassing (or even identifiable) "profile pic." Switch around your basic info so that students will not find you in a search. Keep an unlisted phone number, unless you are a connoisseur of prank calls and a toilet-papered home. If at all possible, live outside your school district (not necessarily in a different city, but away from your students).
 

 
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