Even though we are virtual teachers, we still love the comforts of a brick-and-mortar classroom. We still run on coffee, Target Dollar Spot items, pretty school supplies like planners and Post-its, and turn to our secret candy stashes on hard days. However, besides the obvious necessities like a computer and reliable WIFI, we have come to find another set of chosen items that make life in the virtual world a little easier. After talking with my awesome teammates, here are the top 5:
1. Second Monitor
Every virtual teacher I know has a second monitor. When your teaching world is on the computer, having another place to put all of the things (i.e., browser tabs) is quite helpful. When we are teaching, we have our virtual classroom on one monitor and keep things like attendance, our PowerPoint presentations, links to songs, etc. on our other monitor.
2. Laptop Stand
This is a nice thing to have because it raises the laptop high enough that the camera is pointed straight at my face instead of upward while teaching. This results in a much more flattering angle!
3. A GOOD Headset
We wear headsets while teaching and in meetings. A comfortable headset is critical because we are wearing them a lot. Some teachers love their wireless headsets. I’m still on the hunt for a cute headset, but I have not found one yet (for adults, anyway).
4. Wireless Mouse
The fewer wires you have in your way while working and teaching, the better! A wireless mouse makes navigating the virtual classroom, grading, etc. much easier. You can see my wireless mouse in the picture above.
This is my favorite part! Props make Class Times with our students more engaging and more FUN! Just like you’d see in a physical kindergarten classroom, our virtual classroom is filled with silliness and laughter. I have quite a collection: headbands, hats, glasses, light-up necklaces, puppets, and clappers, to name a few. The students love when we dress up and it definitely helps hold their attention!
What can you not live without in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!