Cool Finds for Teachers
I’ll admit it, I’m on my computer and social media too much. When I get a notification from my phone that tells me I have spent less than 5 hours on my phone each day and my screen time is down, I can’t help but think I need to get out more. But… all that screen time has helped me come across some really great items that I think teachers will love. So my glutting out on social media is for your gain. So let’s begin with the cool finds for teachers…
I’m on the board of a non-profit in Denton, TX called Serve Denton and it is all about being more efficient with our dollars given to charity. To that end there are a number of ways that businesses partner and collaborate to make the most of time and money spent. So when I ran across Misfits Market, it made me think of the Denton Community Garden which donates thousands of pounds of produce to food kitchens in Denton each year. But many of our teachers don’t live in Denton, and they may not have a community market. So if you are looking to stretch your dollars and get fresh organic produce, then you need to check out Misfits Market. According to their website almost half of all produce grown in the US is wasted and goes uneaten. By being willing to eat an ugly piece of fruit that tastes delicious, you can save money and help save the environment by minimizing waste!
Master Penman – Be the Best at What You Do
There are only 12 Master Penman in the world. Jake is the youngest by three decades. When I was growing up my teachers forced us to learn cursive. We were told that when you grew up, you would get a job and writing in cursive would be a requirement. I started first grade at just 4 years old. My mom told the school I was five and I remember sitting in the classroom during recess writing my ABC’s. I’m sure my teachers thought I was a bit of a dolt. Here I was unable to even do the basic things someone should have learned in kindergarten, but, I was a quick learner and soon got my ABC’s down. However, it would be years later that my mom would sit me down with a calligraphy set and tell me that I needed to work on my handwriting.
I actually loved Calligraphy. It soothed me to create letters in beautiful forms, it was art, not writing. When I finished writing a note after learning simple lettering techniques my letters looked beautiful. I was proud of my handwriting and while it is a skill that I have lost over the years due to the fact that I create most things on a computer, on occasion I remember how calming it could be to sit down and write slowly and beautifully.
The reason I mention this master penman is because I believe that when you are passionate about something then it is no longer work. Yes, it can be exhausting and draining, but it is not the same spending 8-12 hours a day doing something you love and 8-12 hours a day doing something that is mundane, or worse, something that you hate. If you are becoming a teacher we want to give you the tools to do something you love.
Jake Weidmann is an example of single solitary focus and hard work. His dedication inspires me as I often allow my focus to shift to multiple things instead of staying the course and continuing to learn and grow in what I do best.
Coffee at Your Desk
I’m a big fan of coffee. I’d like to say, “Who isn’t!?” But there are those who do not partake of these ethereal elixir, this beverage of the gods. But, for those of you who not only love but require coffee to fuel your day, then I have to tell you that the best way to drink this concoction is by crafting it yourself – with a pour over. I rarely take the time to make coffee with a pour over, but, I have a friend who I visit often and he takes the time to roast his own beans, grind his own coffee and then allows it to bloom with the perfect temperature water poured over these perfectly roasted beans. It is the only coffee I truly enjoy without cream – and I love a generous amount of cream.
So you are a teacher, so your time is limited, but, while your students are taking that test and you have a few moments for yourself, you could easily turn on your kettle and brew you up a hot little escape from reality. I find that in life it is the little things that really matter. Stolen moments with a good friend, a thirty minute read of my favorite book, a grilled cheese on a cold day – and of course, a hot cup of coffee.
Here are two products that I think will help you enjoy your coffee more even if you don’t take the time to hand craft every cup. The first is the Ember coffee cup. Ember allows you to set the temperature of your beverage using an App – how fun is that! So if you like hot tea, coffee or even hot chocolate, now it stays the temperature you prefer. I don’t know how many times I’ve poured a steaming hot cup of coffee and it’s too hot to drink. Then I wait too long and it’s too cold, with Ember it will now be just right!
Purchase Ember at Amazon – or add it to your Christmas wish list
The Stagg EKG Pour Over Kettle
The second item that will help you have the perfect cup of coffee is the Stagg EKG kettle. It also comes with bluetooth technology and the ability to set the temperate exactly to what you want. If you are a fan of the Enneagram and you are a “one” then you know how important being able to control things is! If you take the time to make your own coffee then you need to buy a good coffee as well. One of my favorite brands that you can order online is Intelligentsia.
This single origin coffee is delicious and is something you can order via a subscription. If you are like me then you can go through a pound of coffee in a week with ease. Subscription offerings allow you to get fresh coffee on the regular instead of always having to zip up to the store and hope they have something freshly roasted.
Get Organized. Gather.
In French cooking there is a Mis En Place (pronounced “Mees In Plaas”), the idea is that you put everything you need in place before you begin cooking. Have you ever sat down to start a test and then realized, “I don’t have _______” It may be a pair of scissors, your phone, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water. Whatever it is, little distractions can keep us from being productive. I know when I start a task if I have to stop I can easily become distracted by something else. I will go to the pantry for a granola bar and see that the trash needs to be emptied. After emptying the trash I may notice that the shelves are out of order, or I’ll see the Swiffer and decide that right then is a good time to tidy up my floors. Or I may see the tea bags and think that a nice big pitcher of sweet tea is what I need to finish out my day. I work from home and so there is always a plethora of distractions. So in order to be efficient I have to be hyper focused and uber organized. One of my favorite little inventions is Gather by Ugmonk. It is the perfect marriage of form and function.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
So if you don’t have the cash for gather, you can always get more organized with the help of Marie Kondo. While organization in your classroom is important, why not spend some time this summer organizing your home? Perhaps you are one of those people that is already super organized? You say to me, “Eddie, I am as orderly as I can be!” Well, I will tell you like my yoga instructor tells me, “There is ALWAYS room for improvement.” Sometimes we accept where we are at, other times we push ourselves. Finding balance is what really makes life work.
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