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What Are Your Essential In-Class Teaching Tools?

Although it’s possible to get carried away, it’s still helpful sometimes to discuss what we carry with us for our work.

Your teaching tools don’t have to be digital, and they don’t have to be especially sophisticated. In fact “sophisticated” tools sometimes turn out to be “complicated” tools, and complicated tools can be the ones that are the most likely to malfunction. For me, the simplest little things can be the most powerful.

What do you keep in your bag for the classes you teach, regardless of which classes you’re teaching? I always make sure to have the following:

  • a small notebook for jotting down reminders to myself and recording contact information,
  • a few pens in different colors for my own use but also to loan (or give) to students as necessary,
  • a couple of inexpensive flash drives also for my own use but also to loan (or give) to students,
  • my beloved dry-erase markers for use on the classroom whiteboard
  • a generous supply of sticky notes,
  • an extra power adapter for my laptop (in other words, I have an adapter that stays in my office and I always have in my bag),
  • a display adapter for my laptop so that I can plug in to the classroom projector (note to Mac users: Monoprice is a great place to buy cables, cords, and adapters for significantly less than what Apple charges).

How about you? What’s in your teaching toolbox? Let’s hear from you in the comments!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Ken]

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