Kansas State University


College of Education

So, What’s in Your Desk Drawer?

desk-drawerWe asked some of your Curriculum and Instruction professors what five items new teachers need the most in their desk drawer. Here is their growing list of responses. (Feel free to email us your own go-to items in your desk drawer!)

Cyndi Kuhn (Technology) –

  1. Flash drive
  2. Power cords for technology (go buy a second set and keep a set at home)
  3. Advil
  4. Kleenex
  5. Your favorite motivational quote, so every time you open that drawer, you are inspired.

Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies)

  1. Gum
  2. Notecards
  3. A great pen
  4. Flash drive
  5. A picture of your spouse or significant other to look at when times are rough

Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“Forget about the drawers. They will be full of clutter and useless in a week. The most important thing you can have on top of your desk is a book (appropriate for the age group you are teaching) that you are currently reading. If every teacher in the building demonstrated a lifelong love of reading for students, that would do more than any instructional program to improve students’ literacy skills.”

Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math)

  1. Crackers for hungry kids.

Dr. Lori Levin (Literacy) –

  1. Breath mints
  2. Band aids
  3. Granola bars (both for you and for the child who never seems to have had breakfast or bring a snack),
  4. Chinese take-out menu,
  5. Lots of post-it notes (invaluable for jotting notes, collecting data, and last-minute exit tickets).

Kaylee Myers (Elementary Education)

  1. Safety pins
  2. Colorful writing pens
  3. Chapstick (talking lots=dry lips)

Dr. Tom Vontz (Elementary Social Studies)

  1. Coffee cup
  2. Kleenex
  3. Laptop
  4. Grading folder
  5. Parent contact info

Dr. Tonnie Martinez (Secondary Language Arts) –

  1. Mints for the face-to-face conferences (for you and the students)!
  2. Hand-sanitizing lotion that smells good
  3. Vending machine change
  4. Granola Bars
  5. Tylenol

Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)

  1. Band-aids
  2. An extra flash drive
  3. Colorful pens
  4. Encouraging notes you’ve received from students and parents
  5. Tic Tacs

Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) –

  1. White-out
  2. Calculator
  3. Pencils
  4. Pens
  5. Audio recorder