Tools of the Trade

As a public school teacher, there are some utilitarian items that I deal with on a daily basis.  I work with a variety of writing instruments all the time, because writing is a fundamental basis of both instruction and learning.  I provide information in written form, and my students respond in kind.  Here are some of the writing tools that we use to communicate information back and forth in my classroom.

I have an old school chalkboard for instruction at the front of my room.  Unlike many teachers nowadays, I use it every day.  Most teachers have a dry-erase board or in schools where there is a lot of technology a Promethean board.  Maybe someday.  In the meantime, colored chalk does the trick!


I do use a medium sized, portable dry-erase board for the daily agenda.  This is one form of technology that will likely follow my students into their daily lives, as dry-erase boards are commonly used everywhere from board rooms to refrigerator doors.


I don't have access to computers for all of my students on a regular basis, so we go through plenty of pencils and paper.  Interestingly, everyone in my class including my instructional aides likes to write with a pencil.   I do, as well.  I either use the computer or a pen any other time I have to write, but in the classroom I always write with a pencil and usually have one tucked behind my ear.  As teachers know, students of are amazingly unable to hold on to a pencil for any length of time over 48 hours.  To alleviate this problem, I have cups with pencils at the ready on every table where we do classwork.


Finally, since we do use so many pencils,  I they are a valuable commodity in my class and so I keep a stash on hand as incentives, gifts and rewards.  The students also tend to hold on to a pencil for longer if they picked it out and it has a distinctive look.

New Pencils

We do plenty of classwork!  I teach a self-contained special day class for students with emotional disabilities grades 9-12.  I teach 5 subjects, and have between 7 and 11 students in each class.  This is just one grading period's worth of work, waiting to be filed in student portfolios!


I hope these familiar images bring back some pleasant nostalgia from your own time spent writing, learning, or teaching in the classroom.


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