12 Things Every Teacher Needs

every teacher needs

I spent an entire morning filling a grocery cart with school supplies at Target the other day and it occurred to me there are far more things every teacher needs that were left precariously off the list. Since they’re too shy to ask, I thought I’d just put it out there.

12 Things Every Teacher Needs

1. A New Mug.
We all had that teacher.

wine in here
(via Avenue Blue)

2. Starbucks
And lots of it.
starbucks iv

starbucks and love
(via BuggaBooBearDesigns)

3. A Whistle
It didn’t work for Fraulein Maria, but she was only in charge of five.
whistle fraulein maria
4. Ryan Gosling
hey teacher
5. A service dog
Who else is going to retrieve all that Starbucks for the classroom? He will also come in handy on sick days…no need to call in a substitute.
service dog
6.  Duct tape
We all had that teacher.
duct tape teacher
Just make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

duct tape teacher2

7. A pillow…better yet:
This brilliant desk/bed by Athanasia Leivaditou! My kids already think their teachers live at the school, now they have no excuse to leave.

life desk bed

8. A classroom Treehouse
The perfect timeout spot to store misbehaving and/or sick children.

timeout(via Mytropolis)

10. A comfortable office chair
To prevent any back issues caused by leaning over a desk of course.

comfortable chair

11. WiFi
Definitely need WiFi to play (instructional) YouTube videos for the kids…they have to learn SOMETHING while they’re at school. Am I right?

youtube classroom

12. Frequent gifts
Don’t worry, I’ve got a good start on this one on my “Gifts For My Kids Teachers That I Will Never Actually Give” Pinterest board. So many gifts, all year long…in my mind.

pinterest boardWhat did I miss?

If this supply list could be filled I think I’d want to be a teacher again…

The Puppet Master

I hated Pinocchio. I hated that he was asked specifically to go straight to school and that he so naively followed a stranger. Just that one mistake caused Gepetto so much grief.

I hated Gepetto for allowing Pinocchio to wander off to school by himself. He wasn’t even a real boy. How could anyone expect a puppet to figure out how to get to school in one piece.

The whole movie was just an extremely frustrating experience.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am training to be a real life ventriloquist. I’ve been a puppet master for years, but I finally got my doll yesterday. I hope you enjoy my first shot at ventriloquism! You can bet I’d never send MY puppet off to school by herself!:

Click here for my Puppet video.

English Teacher In The Ghetto

When I taught high school English the kids were pretty ridiculous. I worked with Freshman and I’ve mentioned before that this school was a little rough around the edges. Rumor had it that all the kids that were kicked out of other schools in the district were eventually sent to my neck of the woods.

That being said I truly loved working there. I might not have been as smart as the other English teachers, but dammit I had heart. I wanted to connect with these students and instill a passion for learning. I wanted to teach in a way that made kids think, “damn. that was cool.” Because I’m profound like that. I wanted to CHANGE them.

The love letters were an added bonus.

One thing that surprised me while working with them is how utterly boring they must have thought I was…

kid1: Hey Miss Mama Kat!! What do you DO at home? You just read books and stuff?? I mean I bet you be clubbin’ and shit.

me: Really kid1? You “bet I be” clubbing? And please with the language…clean it up!

As teachers you can never really answer these questions. It would not have been appropriate for me to say, “Ummm yeah I go “clubbing”…I hit the bottle as soon as I get home…I’m of AGE you know, I can do that.”

A conversation like this would have been frowned upon.

Or that time when a girl was all, “How does a pregnancy test even WORK anyways??” and I was all, “It depends on what kind you get…the First Response Early test has a stripe system, two stripes mean your pregnant and one means your not…the Clear Blue Easy Digital Test has a digital screen that simply reads pregnant or not pregnant…there are tons of different brands…I mean come on, you just pee on a stick and read the directions it’s not that hard.”

kid2: Miss Mama Kat? How do you KNOW all that??

me: Ahem. I mean…what??? It’s self explanatory right? You’ve seen the commercials.

Because it wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to say, “ummm DUH…I have sex all the time and I’ve had at LEAST four pregnancy scares!!”

Let’s face it, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I tried really hard to follow these unwritten rules of professionalism and deception that teachers years before me worked hard to lay down. I mean for years my teachers successfully convinced me that they spent their weekends watching the history channel and grading papers. I had no idea they had personalities behind the giant red check marks I was receiving on my papers.

But I had my victories. Those moments where I really shined. I defied the expectations put on me by those that went before me and I showed those kids a glimpse of the person behind the red pen. I could be cool dammit!

One of my favorites occurred after I assigned the kids to write about the word ghetto. What did they know about it? Where did it come from? What does it describe? Have they ever been to one? etc…

I knew the moment was coming. Lyrics from Snoop Dog’s Nothin’ But A G Thang found their way to my brain and I willed the moment to come. Somebody ask me…somebody ask me…

And then it happened.

kid: Hey Miss B!!! How do you spell Compton?

And I rapped that song back to him as if Snoop Dogg himself was speaking through me…only in a really white girl trying to sound tough kind of way.

me: Shoot son…C-O-M-P-T-O-N and the city they call Long Beach, Puttin it straight together, like my homie D.O.C no one can do it better like this and like that and like this and uh…it’s like that and like this and like that and uh…it’s like this…

kid: Miss Mama Kat!

me: huh? oh…what?

kid: what are you doing!?!

Sadly the song was so much older than him I’m not even sure he knew what I was singing…maybe it didn’t make me as cool as I thought it did.

me: What? It’s a rap…you know…Snoop Dogg…I’m cool!

kid: Okay Miss Mama Kat…yeah sure…whatever you say!

Spring Break Rocks My World

I remember that one time when I was a teacher how all the other English teachers were super smart and had opinions and quoted Dickinson and read classics and what not.

I’d nod along at lunch time as if I had a freaking clue as to what they were talking about or who they were quoting. “Ahhhh…Pride and Prejudice! Brilliant writing I do say!!”

Never freaking read it.

I had no business there.

I really liked the women I worked with, but I rarely spoke…terrified I might reveal that someone had handed an English degree to a girl who couldn’t dissect a sentence properly.

My focus as a teacher was to stay alive. The kids I taught wanted to eat me. I was more interested in getting the kids to think about what they were doing and where they were going and who they were than I was in pushing them to memorize daily vocab words that even I had never heard of or used. Because really, who says “jocular” these days?

Of course the really great teachers manage to do both those things. And they do them well.

As Spring Break approached some of those teachers would really stress out, “I’m never going to be able to finish my curriculum on time!!”

Curriculum? I had been looking forward to Spring Break since Winter Break ended and here I just realized I was supposed to be concerned about my curriculum.

Maile has officially started her first Spring Break.

I have to say I do like having her home. Not so much because I miss her all day, but more so because I don’t have to worry about making her a lunch or getting her dressed or doing her homework.

I’m noticing a trend here. And I think it has something to do with me liking to take the road most traveled. Frost be damned.

Once Upon A Time I Was A High School English Teacher

Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

There’s a mean girl in me. Sometimes she just busts out and says mean things. And by “sometimes” I mean pretty much every day. I’d rather NOT be mean, but I can’t always help it. Especially when someone has been pushing me. Just push and push and push and eventually I lose my cool.


You see it’s not my fault. People make me be mean.

Once upon a time I was a high school English teacher. I loved my students. Teaching them was not unlike running a home daycare filled with three year olds. They whined and bickered and giggled at similar immature issues. The only difference was that I did not have to change their poopy diapers. So I was right at home.

Jordan was an intelligent blond haired blue eyed smart ass. He liked to talk, he liked to annoy people, he liked to distract the class by bringing up topics that had nothing to do with what I was teaching. I saw that he was trying to be funny…and sometimes he was, but other times he was just plain annoying.

One day I asked the class to work on some kind of art project…I don’t know…maybe a journal cover or something. Somewhere in my instructions I told the class to make them colorful,

me: So don’t use all white on white paper, that’s not gonna cut it. Take your time and

jordan: WHITE’S A COLOR Miss B.

me: Not to me. So put some thought into this you guys. Try to


me: I don’t know Jordan, just follow the directions….

jordan: Well I want to follow the directions and all Miss B., but you said to use colors and white is my favorite color and now you won’t let me use it because you say it’s not a color but it is a color because it’s listed on the crayola box SEEEE so you don’t really know what you’re talking about….

Just push and push and push and eventually I lose my cool.

me: Seriously why do you feel the need to act like this?? Why do you have to be THAT kid??

jordan: Because white is a color and you said

me: No. But you do this everyday and it’s obnoxious. Why does it always have to be SOMETHING with you Jordan? Why can’t I give instructions and help people who want help without you causing some kind of commotion about it?!!

jordan: Because white is a color and you said

me: I said make it colorFUL…fill it with lots of color…do you honestly not GET that!?!

jordan: Oh so are you calling me stupid now!?! Is that what you want to do? Make me feel stupid in front of the whole class??

me: Jordan there is nothing I can say to make you look stupid…you do a good enough job of that on your own.

Aaaaaannnnndddd class dismissed.

My moment of shining glory.

It was the last class of the day. I packed up my stuff, drove straight home, crawled into bed like the non-dramatic person I am, and cried. I couldn’t believe I had stooped to the level of a ninth grader and BASICALLY called him stupid. I don’t know if what I said hurt Jordan, but I’ve ALWAYS regretted the way I handled him that day.

It’s not nice to call people names…especially when you’re twenty plus years older than that person.


Does this mean I should stop calling the six month old baby in my daycare fat?? How about phat??

Now it’s your turn.

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back and sign Mr. Linky!!

The Prompts:

1.) Discuss an intense game of Pictionary that you spent most of Saturday night arguing with your family about, only to log in to your email account two days later to find 35 emails between said family regarding aformentioned game and rules.

2.) Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

3.) The one that got away….spill it.

4.) What inspired you? Write about a time when you were impassioned to write.

5.) What happened in the last year? Write about something you can do now that you couldn’t do a year ago.

6.) Write about the event that was the end of your childhood