15 Products for Tired Teachers

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The phrase "teacher tired" was already well-understood... and then 2020 happened. Whether we're teaching in-person, online-only, or in hybrid mode, teachers everywhere are in new levels of survival mode this year. 

Since I've been teaching 100% in-person since September (and ALSO teaching live to at-home learners), I've found that my free time for self-care is at an all-time low... meaning, I'm on the lookout for solutions that are affordable AND quick. 

If COVID-19 says I can't go to a spa, then some of these items have been my best Plan B. Here's a roundup of some of my favorite things. The more affordable items are listed first, followed by splurges. 

Affordable Self-Care

#1. Miracle shampoo & conditioner

If you want to "reset" your hair from a sub-par state, then look no further than Neutrogena's anti-residue shampoo and Pantene's 3-Minute Miracle conditioner line. The first zaps away any grease or residue better than anything else I've ever seen, and the second makes my hair smoother and shinier than the rest. 

#2. A spill-proof coffee cup

I'm done with coffee mugs that are cute but spill, and this Contigo autoseal travel mug is the only gadget that is klutz-proof enough that I can drop it, throw it in a bag, knock it over, or not spill down the front of my shirt. The lid is a *little* tricky to clean, but it's worth it for me (and would be worth it for any remote learning teacher who doesn't want to spill on their laptop). 

#3. Under-eye recovery

Jade rollers and patches didn't do it for me, but this Garnier Anti-Puff Eye Roller minimizes the darkness and bagginess of the area under my eyes, no matter how little sleep I get. 

#4. A heating pad

Need I say more? The best friend to sore muscles (and a work session on a couch) is the right heating pad. (I'm also a big fan of a good TENS unit, but you'll want to check with your doctor first before using one.) 

#5. A peel-off mask

I don't like the mess of most masks, but I DO like this one, which is super pore-minimizing and peels off nicely. Check out Boscia's charcoal peel off mask. (It looks pricey, but I swear that a bottle lasts you a long time.)

#6. The right cuticle oil

This CND solar oil is not only the most effective nail product I've ever tried (instant manicure in a bottle), but it dries cleanly and has a sweet almond scent. (Again, this lasts much longer than you'd think.)

#7. A Jeopardy daily calendar

Don't laugh - this rip-off calendar has been so essential to my 2020 teaching that it made this list. It's a premade class starter (trivia!) that students have liked remotely and in the classroom, and I don't have to update a bulletin board - I can just throw this under a document camera. Win-win. 

#8.  The Original Makeup Eraser

If I am up late grading, I want my bedtime routine to be as fast as possible, and this reusable, washable makeup eraser ACTUALLY works with JUST water! 

#9. The skin fixer

I'm not one to worry that much about wrinkles,  BUT if my skin does look tired, a little bit of Neutrogena's Hydro Boost cream goes a really long way. It's definitely worth trying if you want to quickly look like you just got a facial. 

#10. Hand + Foot relief

Whether I'm using them overnight, first thing in the morning, or as a way to unwind at night, I love Aveda's hand relief and foot relief creams. The scent is great, and while it goes on thick, it blends in perfectly. (It's a great relief after I've been handling a lot of papers and feel like I need to recover from winter skin or paper cuts, too!)

Worthwhile Splurges

#11. An Instapot

My husband is obsessed with this thing. Some foods take the same amount of time to cook as an oven, and others are a fraction of the time. The air fryer lid (an add-on) is especially amazing - I don't ever want to make my toddler the same sad tater tots in a normal oven again!

#12. A Roomba vacuum

Listen, my golden retriever sheds like it's her job. I used to have to vacuum 2-3 times a week, and now the Roomba gets it done FOR me on an automated schedule, so I can come home to a clean house. While this price tag seems big, there are several models you can choose from at different price points. (Now, if only my sink could empty itself...)

#13. Home meal kit delivery

We've dabbled with most of the big brands (Home Chef, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh), and all have been worth it for our family to take the guesswork out of what we're going to make tonight. The cost is in between the grocery store and a restaurant, and as a bonus, we're becoming better cooks by learning how to make some of these things ourselves!

#14. My favorite To-Do app

I've used Todoist (website and app) for about two years now as my primary to-do list. I love that I can set recurring events, categorize tasks, and see different kinds of views for my upcoming tasks. Definitely worth the $28/year for the premium version, if you ask me! 

#15. Any version of Siri or Alexa

I personally love my Apple Watch, and you can read my blog post all about using an Amazon Dot in my ELA classroom. Whether it's setting a reminder or alarm for later, playing Jeopardy with students, or setting a quick timer, it's awesome to feel like I have a second brain. 

Honorable Mentions

If you don't love your current document camera, check out my recent blog post for two affordable options from IPEVO. You might also like my blog posts about my classroom makeover and preventing teacher burnout.

What else would you add to this list?

Tell us in the comments!

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