The beginning of the school year always brings for me a discovery of muscles I never knew I had. Suddenly, parts of my body were aching that had never ached before! Who has ever heard of your pointing finger aching? Weird, right? But, if you scrape enough stickers off with your pointing finger or pull out enough staples out of a bulletin board, at the end of the day your finger will let you know that it is tired. So much of the time, setting up a classroom, is spent climbing on and off a step ladder to reach heavy boxes, take them down, put them back up, and repeat over and over. A teacher should make a video of this stuff and call it "teacher aerobics". If we did these same aerobics all year, we would be as shapely as Jillian Michaels.
This brings up a good point, for many years I used a chair or table or any other tall flat surface to reach the places I needed to reach. Then one day I spotted a step ladder at a thrift store and bought it. That was some of the best money I ever spent. I highly recommend you adding a step stool to your "wish list". Maybe a parent will buy it for you for Christmas. You will be surprised at how often you will use it when you get one.
Speaking of aches and pains . . . one of the best things ever invented for headaches, aching shoulders, and other sore body parts is this miracle (see picture above). It works like a heating pad except it's better because it contours to your body. Have you ever gotten a migraine at school and had to stay at school and teach? Yes, you can tell your students to walk quietly like little mice and whisper that day, but that will only go so far to help the pain in your head. I have one of these at home and one at school. If you get a migraine in the middle of class, you can usually find some teacher walking down your hallway who is willing to go warm this in the microwave for you. Drape it over your shoulders to get instant relief. You'll thank me for it! These would also be great gifts for your fellow teachers. If you have the Martha Stewart gene, you can make homemade ones that are sure to be a hit!
Click on the picture for directions to make these.