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Teacher Survival Kit

Xy’s gearing up for the school year. Teachers are subjected to a seemingly endless number of “professional development” events. I pay some attention to this, because I work in faculty development myself. We’re always looking for new ideas.

I was particularly intrigued, not to mention inspired, when Xy brought home a Ziploc bag with a toothpick, a rubber band, a penny and a number of other items.

Teacher Survival Kit

It was accompanied by a “packing slip,” which I produce here verbatim:


TOOTHPICK — To remind you to pick out the good in everyone.
LIFESAVER — You may be the one to save the bright light in a child.
MOUNDS BAR — To remind you of mounds of stuff you teach.
PUZZIE PIECE — To remind you that without you things wouldn’t be complete.
RUBBERBAND — To remind you to be flexible.
BANDAID — To remind you that together we can make things better.
PENNY — To remind you that you are valuable

I think we can all rest easier knowing that the public schools in New Orleans are headed in the right direction now. Xy’s already put this to good use. She busted out that Mounds bar and ate it, pronto. I think she may have used the bandage on a cut on her finger. I don’t know what happened to the “puzzie piece.” To tell the truth I’m not even sure what a “puzzie” is.

I’m trying to convince my department to prepare a similar packet for the incoming crop of new faculty here at the University. As much as elementary school teachers appreciate the thought and effort that goes into this sort of thing, I feel certain that college professors would appreciate it even more.

Published inLife with XyThe Ed Biz


  1. Stacey Stacey

    I’m a teacher in Austin but I’m out until October. I’ve gotten a few of these bags through my career. So glad I’m missing all the forced teambuilding this year. Time to work on my room, copy stuff, that’s much more important to me at the beginning of the year. After Christmas, before Spring Break, that’s when I need a morale boost! And of course a few Mounds bars, forget “fun size”.

  2. Marion Marion

    Don’t you normally leave a penny to express your displeasure in your waitress’ service? Also, I’d hate to think that “PUZZIE” is a spelling error.

  3. A penny to show your value–damn, that hurts.

    As a professor, the only development I get is listening to administrators talk for several hours interrupted only by stale pastries and an oily, meat-filled lunch. I could use that Life Saver and Mounds bar next week…..

  4. Man, I guess you have to kinda laugh at that crap. I’m so glad to not be doing professional improvement ever again. The absolute absurdity of the whole activity really comes home when you are an amazingly effective teacher, pulling kids through algebra who never thought they could ever pass a math course, and doing it with regularity. Does anyone notice? Is that worth anything? No. But writing bull shit grants for equipment that never gets used, there’s where promotions and advancement lie. Oh gee, pass the mounds bar. For the mounds of crap you have to swallow to keep going.

  5. rob rob

    Why do you all think it’s a typo? I for one love a nice piece of puzzie. Not sure it’s appropriate for elementary schools…

    Wonder how they put it in the ziploc?

  6. Andrea Andrea

    Wouldn’t a roll of toilet paper have been more valuable to the teachers, practically and metaphorically speaking? Or does NOPS now provide such amenities to their faculty and students?

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