Take a Toolkit to Class by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
Mar 20th, 2014

Although most faculty use many high tech innovations in the classroom, let’s not forget the necessity for some of the basic accoutrements.  After a couple of years of hearing frequent requests for some basic office supplies and also recognizing that there were times I wished I had some sticky notes or whiteboard markers in a classroom, I purchased a nice clean, new toolbox at a local Costco and then filled it with the following (and it’s longer than a “top ten” because I couldn’t just limit it to 10 items):

  1. Post-it® notes
  2. Dry-erase markers
  3. Scotch tape
  4. Masking tape
  5. Stapler (and extra staples)
  6. Hole punch (because many of my student assignments needed to be put into notebooks prior to turning them in)
  7. Paper clips
  8. Pencils & pens
  9. Scissors
  10. Highlighters
  11. Chalk (yes, indeedy; that’s what I carried because not all rooms had white boards)
  12. Extension cord
  13. Door stop (I bought these in large packets at a local Home Depot)

If you are wondering, ‘Gosh, what if I left these behind in the classroom?  I’d go broke,” then go back and reread last week’s Top Ten Productivity Tips for Professors.  Your “sherpa” can help you gather up all the items that belong in your toolbox.

Preparing a classroom toolkit was a good investment on my part and saved me a great deal of time and frustration over the years.  It was also GREATLY appreciated by my students – so that was a plus!!


And here is something that came in from one of the other subscribers:


Your classroom toolkit idea is wonderful–I made one using a small overnight bag which is the perfect size & shape, and a color that stands out in my office. I keep it under my desk so I can grab it as I leave for class. This week I needed to draw a chart for the class. There was a whiteboard, an eraser, and no markers. So I pulled the markers out of “class bag” and drew my chart.

I’ve also added a something to your tool kit list–printed attendance sheets for the students to sign in on. My cell phone goes in the front pocket (in case I need to call tech support) along with a printed personal calendar (in case students want to see me later), and a small pad to write questions that I need to find answers for. I use a bag that is big enough to stash two files–one is graded papers to be returned, the second for work the students hand in that day.   Judith L. Reishtein PhD RN | Drexel University

And as a college or university faculty member, you have many opportunities for success and failure. If you would like additional tips, tools, and techniques that you can use to support your successes, then you will want to access the The Compendium of Productivity Tips for Professors a step by step guide that will help you have a successful year and a compelling career as an academic.