Top 8 things every Speechie needs for the craziest school year yet (2020)!
This year has certainly been a crazy one in every industry, not just education! I'm here breaking down the top 10 things that you NEED to survive this school year! Whether you are working from home or in the battle fields of the classroom, these 10 items will make your job a LOT easier!
1. SPEECH FUEL:
First thing's first...COFFEE: If you know me, you know that I cannot survive or even face my day ahead without a good, steaming cup of coffee. I literally HATE when I take my second or third sip of the day and it's lukewarm at best. Last year I was all about the Ember Mug, but it is super pricey and I wish the battery life lasted longer! This year, after combing through the internet, skimming through scientific experiments (yes, believe it), I found the holy grail of coffee mugs! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you, the Zojirushi. Just today, I made my coffee at 7:02 am, and as of 8:43 am it is still piping hot! It's not only sleek and adorable, but comes in a variety of colors (I chose the rose gold obviously, but eying that lavender and pink one for my next purchases). Best part? Order it on Amazon and get it within 48 hours. The coffee Gods are singing and I'm right there with them, ready to take on another speech group with a delicious cup of coffee, consistently hot!
2. SAFETY FIRST
Since I am back in a school, I needed a quick and easy solution for when I took my mask off. Putting it in a pocket or throwing it on germ prone desks was not a smart solution (and kind of defeating the purpose!) That's when I discovered these colorful and ingenious "mask mates" (okay, I made that name up, but like really? who missed that huge marketing opportunity?) Any who, I ordered some prior to this and realized they didn't have a breakaway option on the neck (a huge no-no). Because I also use these with my own children, I knew that it would be safest if it had a breakaway option so that if it was ever pulled or tugged hard, their necks couldn't be hurt! These lanyards are advertised for children, but I find that they are just the right length for me (and do not interfere with my ID tag that I also wear around my neck for school!)
3. CREATE A BOOM IN THERAPY!
A MUST HAVE app, Boom Learning started in 2012 and has been an absolute LIFE SAVER since the world was turned upside down this year! This app works on almost ANY device and is the perfect way to assign work, collect data on student progress, and most importantly, make both in person and virtual therapy FUN! With thousands of decks, its synchrony with Google Classroom (my new best friend) and a ton of other features, BOOM is becoming one of my favorite apps I've ever used! Need help starting your Boom collection? Check out my boom store and follow me for speech fun and freebies!
4. THE COOLEST GOOGLE CLASSROOM AROUND:
If we are gonna embrace this whole pandemic learning, we might as well make it fun! While scouring through Teachers Pay Teachers, I found this AMAZING freebie by That Elementary Teacher. Not only is it adorable, but also has EVERYTHING you need to make your classroom colorful and fun! I use it with my Bitmoji Chrome extension and have added personalized touches! Check out my classroom below (and peep my Starbucks accessories and dog) 😂
5. PROTECT YOURSELF
Yes, my district provided PPE for us this year, but truthfully, some of the products just weren't that comfortable. This includes the face shields that normally wrap with an elastic band around your head/hair. I hated how it felt on my head, and it was too close to my nose despite the foam cushion provided at the top. A quick search on Amazon and I found these amazing glasses face shields. These are perfect (even if you ALREADY wear glasses) because they sit comfortable on my face, allow for more room between my nose and the shield, and are so much easier to take on and off! It has everyone at my school asking me, "where did you get those?"
6. A SUPER ANTIFOG SPRAY!
I never in my life thought I would need an anti-fog spray. I don't wear glasses, am terrified of the ocean (aka no goggles for deep-sea diving) and am not a great swimmer. But the year of the pandemic has us scrambling for products we never thought we'd use! When receiving our "clear" masks from my school district, my first concern was "ugh, they fog up the second I put it on!" How was I going to provide appropriate therapy if all the kids could see was a foggy mess of breath through my mask window? Insert iGK anti-fog spray here! It has worked wonders on my mask and now I no longer dread wearing it!
7. CUTE COMPUTER COVERS
I got so used to my MacBook Pro during our quarantine periods (Chromebooks, i'm looking at you) that I simply could not start the year without it's continued use! Put such an expensive product through classroom peril? Absolutely not! I found these gorgeous computer covers and get compliments on it all the time! Not only are they cute and add a pop of color to my desk, but it ensures that my computer is always protected for whatever the day might bring (more likely from a coffee spill due to my own devices).
8. A PRETTY PLANNER:
While I love all things digital, there's something about putting paper to pen that really helps me plan, track and stay organized! Whether it's a lesson plan for the following week, a doctor's appointment for the kids or just a reminder to go to bed early (yes, you can do it Erica), I thrive on seeing things written on paper! I've always been a visual learner and have poured lots of money and time into previous planners such as Filofax ($$) and Erin Condren (don't get me wrong, this woman's stuff is AMAZINGGGGG), but after years I finally wanted something more affordable! I found Bloom Daily Planners and never looked back! It has everything I had been looking for in my previous planners at a fraction of the cost! Cute cover? Check! Inspirational quotes? Check! Stickers? (come on, you know you love them) Another check! The one pictured is the actual cover I chose and I use it every day! If 2020 is going to be THIS chaotic...it's the least I can do to try to stay organized!
These 8 products have literally changed my life in the classroom! This year is going to be one of our most challenging, so hoping that some or all of these products can help you get through it unscathed as well!