A Few Of My Favorite Things

It’s that time of the year when my social media feed seems to be inundated with gift guides, and so with one eyebrow raised and with my tongue-in-cheek, here’s my attempt at what a #slowchathealth gift guide might look like. If you’re following me on social media you’ll know that I coordinate a gift giving event every December to coincide with winter break – these suggestions might be useful through Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and the festive season.

Water Bottle – I’ve already got one of my health-related goals lined up for the New Year. Once I’ve reduced my caffeine intake to a sensible(!) level, I need to improve my hydration. I don’t drink anywhere near enough water. This 32oz water bottle from Elvira might be the motivational reminder I need to step up my water intake.

Erasable, Retractable, Refillable Pens – I color-code my note taking and these pens from Frixion are awesome for not only that, but also for erasing my errors. They write smooth, erase clean and are perfect on paper, and also on my Rocketbook planner (the one that scans your pages and saves them in your Google Drive!).

Books – I can’t read quickly enough to get through my ever growing book collection. While you might find inspiration in my ‘Race, Racism & Rebellion’ book list, the next book I have lined up to read is Hacking Modern Teaching from Mike Roberts. Mike shares easy to implement ideas that are perfect for teachers who know that now is the best time to improve what we do, based on what we have learned from teaching during a pandemic.

Travel Coffee Mug – Hands down this is the best travel coffee mug I have EVER used. I make a coffee in the morning, screw the locking lid and throw this in my school bag. The Fellow Carter Move mug comes with a  ‘your-bag-is-not-getting-wet’ guarantee and I can vouch for that! Currently they have 15% off all items.

Charitable Donation – As it’s the season for giving, and with Giving Tuesday almost upon us at the time of writing this post, the organizations that I will support this month include – SHAPE America, because I believe that all children deserve quality physical education. I’ll also support Answer, because young people need high-quality sex education.

Fitness App – So many gift guides recommend a subscription to Headspace, the meditation app – which is free for educators, but the fitness app that I simply adore is the Peloton App. Not only does it have an extensive array of meditations, but the yoga, cardio, strength and stretching classes can all be used on your devices or streamed to your TV without having to buy a Peloton bike or tread(mill). They currently have the first 2 months membership free.

Thank You Card – I appreciate thank you cards (and emails) and save them all. They’re perfect to read when you need a reminder that what we do as teachers impacts lives. This teacher card and pencil set comes from a small business not too far from where I live in Illinois. When I can, I try and support local businesses and have already ordered a few items from The Paper Peony to gift to family members. Currently they have code MARKET20 for 20% off.

Portable Charger – I’ve gone through so many of these that I consider myself an expert in these things. Over time they have got smaller, and quicker, and carry a longer charge. I love the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux because it is fast, provides more than two charges for my iPhone, and is small and sleek. Now that in-person conferences have returned, one charge of this was all I needed for a 2 day trip to Nebraska this month.

A Fun Family Game – Sitting friends and family around a table a playing games is a tradition that I can get behind, and Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza might be the funnest $10 you ever spend on a game. This takes a minute to learn, and each round lasts 10-15 minutes. We took this game to a conference and made some great new friends. If elves, snowmen and reindeers are your thing, then you should check out the festive version available too.

Old School Notebooks – As much as I love all things technological, and appreciate the latest must-have gadget, there’s something that feels right about writing my thoughts and ideas (and lesson plans) down on paper. Once I started using Moleskine notebooks I never looked back. Each one last me about a whole school year and they sit above my desk at school, packed with inspiration. I think I could find a specific page in any of my books quicker than I could google search for the same thing.

This gift guide sits somewhere nicely between gift ideas for teacher friends, but also gift ideas to treat yourself too. I own all of the items suggested above and can personally vouch for all of them.

If you’re looking a festive playlist to see you through the next month or so, check out Cool Yule.

As an Amazon Associate I may earn from some of the links above, that is how I am able to gift away books etc via the site throughout the year.

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