At one point early in my teaching career, I bought a plastic pencil case and started stashing things I found I needed personally- things like deodorant, tampons, a toothbrush, and a sample of toothpaste. And I added to that stash over time- a water bottle, granola bars, and lunch money were some additions. And, well, bandaids, which weren’t just for me. I also learned never to leave the school building, if you can help it, without car keys and your purse/wallet. I’ve been in the situation of having to vacate and not being let back in twice.

Then, there was the great fluorescent paint spill while teaching 8th grade. I’m only 5ft 2, and the paint I needed was in my supply closet, almost out of reach. I stretched, and in my attempt to grab the needed paint, I knocked down a bottle of bright orange fluorescent paint that broke on impact with the floor. What a mess! After that, I added a complete set of clothes and shoes to my stash. I now had a small plastic tote and my plastic pencil case. Away, this evolution got me thinking about what other teachers had in their emergency stash, so I asked, and the answers just showed how clever we art teachers are.

Backpack next to the door with a copy of all class rosters and school emergency plans.
Hair ties for girls who don’t want to get their hair into clay and paint.
Safety Pins, for many occasions!
Utensils, for when your lunch needs them, and you don’t want to walk all the way to the cafeteria.
Tylenol, for yourself,
Nail cutter, emery board
A warm sweater of fleece because school heating systems are erratic.
Bob Ross Costume, for those spirit days at school
Dental floss
Sewing kit, kids will show up at the art room door in the morning with all their crises.
Cold Medicine
Sugar packet/ juice box
Door jammer/security bar
Cell phone charger
Stain sticks, Tide pen
Large Shamwow style super absorbent cloths for spills
Tea bags
Plastic gloves

What’s a must have for your personal emergency stash?