Everything You’ll Find in the Drawers of a Teacher’s Desk

2 min


The teacher’s desk is one of those things in a classroom that is sacred. It is our one piece of heaven nobody can take away. I’m not talking about the top; that is a disaster zone. I find things daily on there that I can’t even begin to imagine where they came from. I am talking about our 5 hideaways. Our lockable vaults of all things necessary to survive: The drawers. Nobody but us ever dives in there and if someone else did, we would probably be put on funny farm alert. I’m a guy so mine isn’t all that interesting, but I got the idea from one of my teammates that pretty much has every necessary tool for life in her drawer. I might call her a hoarder, but if I ever need something, I know where to find it. Truthfully, I wrote this hoping that you’d comment things in your drawer that make me seem a little less weird.

These drawers are all unique to our own quirkiness, but I’m guessing have this general organization.

1. The Food Drawer:

photo of candies and cookies

This isn’t for those cupcakes and cookies from questionable kitchens. This is the chocolate, the crackers, and the bags of healthy trail mix you tell yourself you are going to eat. It usually contains a Tupperware or two that might be from this week or maybe from last month. For us righties, it is that big drawer on the bottom right that you can reach but no one else can. It is easily covered by a piece of paper when a student walks up, but just in perfect reach for when they walk away and I want to shove that last Reese cup in my mouth.

2. The Kim Drawer:

makeup on a wooden table

For men it’s some gum, maybe a magazine, and random pens/pencils that you might need. Throw in some chapstick for good measure. This is the drawer you find in all women’s desks that should be called the “Drawer of Life”. I named it the Kim drawer because my next door neighbor is the reason for this whole idea, love her heart. Make-up, lotion, hairspray, perfume, air freshener, baby powder, deodorant, nail clippers, and the list could go on and on. It is the modern-day version of a bomb shelter. You need it, it’s in there. You don’t need it, it’s in there. Does it smell good? It’s in there. Probably the most used drawer behind the food drawer in the classroom.

3. The Sliding Drawer:

sliding drawer_teacher's desk_markers and colored pencils inside

This is probably the only true teaching drawer. I have my pens, sticky notes, paper clips, backup whiteboard markers, you know, the real stuff. I usually throw a few cards in there that I’ve gotten over the years, to remind me why I love teaching. Those are usually under the information papers with parent emails and phone numbers I have to use every other day. If somebody just looked at this drawer alone, they might think I had it all together.

4. The Paper Drawer:

paper drawer_teacher's desk_stacks of papers

Every manual and informative piece of paper is found here. I will probably never look at these or know exactly what is in here, but they are there when the IT guy comes calling. There might be some old projector papers or things that haven’t been in the classroom for a few years, but again, you never know. There are a few other essential/non-essential papers thrown in there that I probably won’t ever use again, but they are in there for safekeeping anyways.

5. The Mystery Drawer:

mystery drawer_teacher's desk_stock image of women looking in drawer with bright light inside

Don’t lie, you have it too. Mine is the big one on the bottom left. There are old pencil cups, staplers, mouse pads, and an archaic 3-hole punch thrown in there.  Other than that, your guess is as good as mine. I’m sure there are a few “cute” apple teacher gifts I slid off the war zone and in there 3 years ago. My teaching license might be in this abyss too. Hopefully, in the very back, there isn’t another science project like I found in the cabinets… I had a hard time explaining that one.

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Andy McCall author This article was written by Andy McCall. Andy is in his 9th year teaching and does everything to honor his little girl, Penelope, who passed last year. Check him out on his Blog or on Facebook: Penelope’s Path.


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