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Favorite Things – Preschool Teacher Edition

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which of course means that it’s time to start thinking about Christmas (didn’t you know that?!).  I love gift guides, I use them all of the time to find the perfect gifts for my friends and family members, but my favorite lists are the “Favorite Things” lists (thank you Oprah), because they help inspire my own Christmas list.

This year I put together a list of my favorite things for school – these aren’t necessarily the best supplies for the classroom (but I do have a great Preschool Classroom Supply list), but rather, products that make things a little bit easier for me throughout the day.  These would be great gifts for the teacher on your list, or fun treats for yourself!

Vera Bradley Pleated Tote
This is the best tote bag! I love Vera Bradley because the prints are fun and the bags are really durable.  This bag is the perfect size – I can use it as a purse, but I can also fit my ipad, a binder, or a couple of notebooks in it.  It has six pockets (six!) so my stuff stays organized, and I can always find what I need.  I have used mine so much that I’m asking for a replacement for Christmas!

Starbucks Gift Cards
These are ALWAYS appreciated. I don’t know a teacher that doesn’t need the occasional caffeine boost (myself included) and it is so nice to be able to treat yourself to good coffee without breaking the bank.

Travel Coffee Mugs
I use one of these mugs every day (at least, every day that I don’t go to Starbucks!).  They are cute and I know that they’ll fit in my car’s cup holders, so I don’t have to worry about spills.  I love that I can finish my coffee while I’m driving, because if I don’t take my mug into school, I don’t have to remember to bring it home!

Sharpie Pens
These are my all-time favorite pens.  I love that they write like very fine tip markers, and that they are permanent, and I love that they don’t bleed through the paper.  I use them for everything, and I think that the bold line makes my handwriting look so much nicer.  I have a tendency to hoard these pens, they’re in my purse, my desk drawers, and all over my house!

Post-it® Note Pad
I am constantly making notes for myself, to-do lists, ideas, observations, questions, writing them all down helps me organize the thoughts in my head.  I love cute notepads, and these are from Post-it, so I can stick them all over my classroom, on my computer, in my notebooks, and on cubbies.

Crystal Light On The Go Drink Mixes
I am not a huge fan of water, but I have really been trying to cut back on the amount of pop that I drink, these packets have been life savers for me.  They only have 5 calories per packet, so they are a perfect substitute for my Diet Coke habit, and much better for me to have in the classroom anyway.  All of the flavors are great, so this variety pack is perfect!

Copco Hydra Bottle
I can’t drink water without a water bottle, and this one is my favorite.  It is the same shape and size as a disposable water bottle, but this one is meant to be re-useable.  It is the perfect size to throw in my school bag, and the lid fits tightly, so I know that it won’t spill.  If you look at the picture closely you can see my favorite feature of this particular water bottle.  Right above the colored gripper band the top of the bottle actually twists off so that you can put lemon slices or ice cubes in the water bottle.  I’ve never had any water drip out of this space, it seals up tightly! I’m asking for more of these this Christmas. 

Dock for iPhone
I use my iPhone dock all the time.  Sometimes we stream Pandora stations (for yoga, nap time, movement and dancing, instrumental, etc.) and sometimes we listen to audio books.  This is really the only piece of technology that I have in my classroom all the time, and it’s usually faster than going to find the laptop, bringing it into the classroom, and setting it up.  Plus, when I’m streaming music I feel a lot more comfortable about the content than if I were to just turn on the radio.  The dock makes my life easy because I can use the old iPod that I have in my classroom all of the time, or I can hook up my phone.

Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite Punch
I’ve written about how much I love my Crop-A-Dile before, but seriously, this is a fun tool.  It amazes me just how many sheets of paper it can go through at one time, and there are so many different ways to use it.  I love the Big Bite because I can get to the middle of practically anything, which is the biggest frustration with a regular hole punch.  If you know a crafty teacher, this is the gift you need.

Columbia Fleece Jacket
I keep an extra fleece jacket in my classroom at all times.  I never know how warm it’s going to be in the classroom, and I’m always freezing.  I feel like my students think that I wear the same thing to school every day because they see me in my fleece so often. I love Columbia because it holds up so well. I just replaced the Columbia fleece that I got in college (I graduated 6 years ago!). I also love how many colors they come in – right now I own 4, black, brown, purple, and red.

Vera Bradley Lanyard
I decided a long time ago that if I was going to have to wear a lanyard all day long, it was going to be cute! These definitely are.  I was worried that they would get dirty easily, but I have had the same one since July and it still looks brand new.  I also really like that it has the key ring and the clip for my ID, this keeps everything separate, and easy to use.

All-Natural Fruit Strips
I’m all about snacks – I need something to keep my energy up throughout the day, but I don’t always make the healthiest choices.  These taste good and are all natural, a huge plus because I usually end up eating snacks with my students, and I feel like a good role model when I’m eating something healthy. 

Sperry Top-Sider Angelfish Boat Shoe
I live in these shoes.  They are incredibly comfortable and they go with everything. I have a pair in black and a pair in brown, so if I want to, I can wear them every single day, with any outfit.  These shoes are an investment, but they are completely worth it. They hold up well to every day wear and tear (and having random things spilled on them), and they are comfortable like a tennis shoe, but dressier.

Kate Spade Agenda
I am a planner – I need to have everything laid out in front of me where I can see it, and organize it to the minute.  I also happen to have a slight obsession with really cute office supplies, so this Kate Spade planner has my name all over it.  I’ve had this planner on my wish list for two years, maybe this year I’ll finally break down and buy it instead of buying four different (cheaper) planners that don’t really do what I need them too. 

Moccasin Slippers
Our Infant classroom is a shoe-free room, so when I’m in there I wear slippers. I love the moccasins because you really can’t tell if they are shoes or slippers, so I still feel professional (there’s just something about not wearing shoes at work that makes me feel strange…). I also like to have these for snowy days, I can take my boots off and put these on, then the snow stays off of my carpet and off of my socks.

Hopefully this list will help you out as you choose gifts for the great teachers on your shopping list (or maybe for yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that!).  Every thing on this list is something that I really do use and love (with the exception of the Kate Spade Agenda, that’s just something that I really really really want!), the links are all Amazon Affiliates. 

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