Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer Break!

                          Like the students we work with, Hear Me Out is on summer break! 

                Check out my latest EdWeek contribution HERE and I'll see you back in the fall!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Tiny Office Living

 Tiny homes, with an average of less than 500 square feet of living space, have become a trend. Living a minimalist lifestyle with only things that “spark joy,” thanks to a popular Netflix show, has also become trendy. As an itinerant, I mastered this minimalist, tiny-home style long before it was in vogue. The key is to maximize your available space (mine is approximately 80 square feet) and minimize possessions in a way that would make that popular organizing guru proud. Below is a guide to my Tiny Car Office.  

1.     This Tiny Car Office boasts a spacious snack cabinet which includes room not only for snacks to enjoy while on the road, but also storage for utensils, napkins, reusable straws and condiments for the days when you will also be eating lunch in your car. Never worry about forgetting to grab chopsticks with your take-out sushi, there’s plenty of storage space for a few pairs right here!
2.     As an itinerant, my students must be able to see my face in order to speech read along with using their listening skills. This office includes a styling station with everything one would need for the optimal up-do. Hair ties, bobby pins, and headbands are easily accessible for those mornings when you’re running late and need to let your hair dry in the car before putting it up. In a pinch, a pair of sunglasses doubles as a headband in this multi-use accessory station.
3.     As a bonus, this tiny space also includes a hair dryer which when set on high, sends a blast of warm air to help quickly dry your hair on the road.
4.     You may think that you have to make sacrifices to live in a Tiny Car Office, but think again! You can have a complete home office with sticky note bulletin board reminders, pen and pencil storage, an electronics charging station, and convenient phone mount which will allow for Skyping, voice dictation, GPS access and so much more!
5.     In addition, an audiological center is packed nicely into this pouch and fits neatly in the front seat while still allowing room for bags and other materials. All your troubleshooting tools will be ready to go as you head into the schools.

6.     As we all know, it can be challenging to find time to exercise. You’ll have no excuses with your very own Tiny Car Office gym! The low ceilings allow for controlled, isometric movements which really concentrate working the small muscle groups. My physical therapist would be happy to see that I incorporate my shoulder exercises throughout the day.

7.     The roomy center console is the perfect place to store all of your hygiene needs. Nobody likes a teacher with coffee breath! Mouth wash, gum, and mints are right within reach with this handy storage space! There’s also room for bandaids, deodorant and hand wipes for those messy meals that are eaten on the road.
8.     Most people view this as simply the back of a seat, however, it also doubles as a coat rack for those rainy or snowy New England days!

9.     How many times have you chosen a pair of shoes to wear in the morning only to regret it later in the day when your feet are tired and blistered? Tiny Car Office features ample shoe storage so that you will always have options to change your shoes during the day.
10. Snow? Rain? No problem! All your weather needs are readily available right here whether you need an umbrella, a snow scraper, or even a small shovel to clear that winter weather away! Did you get to a school only to find out your student is not there? In the winter, snowshoe storage means that you can take a quick walk in the fresh air while you wait for your next student.

11. Finally, the largest storage section of our Tiny Car Office. Files are neatly organized in these bins for easy access. Frequently used assessments, books, and teaching materials are also organized and right where you need them.
12. Schools don’t always have the specific materials we need. Art supplies, dry erase boards, toys and manipulatives are all stored in this crate system.
13. Do you need to stop at the grocery store on your way home? Maybe you forgot an item you need for a session and need to run into the dollar store quickly to pick up a new one. Reusable shopping bags have their own storage on the side for those last minute shopping trips.
14. Again with the exercise! As a triathlete and marathon runner, fitness is important to me and I’ll never make an excuse to skip a workout! However, especially in the winter when it gets dark early, it can be hard to fit in a long run when I’m at schools late. This closet of workout clothes and space for running shoes means that wherever I am, I can stop, quickly change and get in a run before heading home.

Mastering the art of working from a Tiny Car Office means never having to sacrifice while out on the road. You too can have it all! Now, who’s ready to join me in this trendy movement? J