10 Teaching Inventions I Wish Existed

Summer means I have lots of time to do important
thinking, which this morning has meant coming up with this list of teaching
inventions I wish existed. 
1) Grading machine
You’ll notice that it looks remarkably like a fax machine. It can even grade essays! Oh, also it can create make-up exams. I just decided.
2) Silent spray
Extra strength: for grades 6-8
I’ve seen cute versions of this on Pinterest for pre-school
age kiddos, but mine would be very serious. Sort of like Febreze except instead
of working with smells it will work with sounds. A quick spray across the room
and a hush just falls over everyone. Ahhhh.
Also, my roommate held up a placemat just behind our coffee table for this picture to happen. Thanks, Esther!
3) A special telephone that has a direct hotline for answers
to everything
Preferably the hotline attendant would be Morgan Freeman. He
would have the answers to my most plaguing questions, which, last year, were
things like:
“Yeah, it’s October and our school ran out of paper and toner
for the rest of the year. What do I do?”
“Who wrote ‘Charlie = bae’ in this copy of Flowers for
“Where did I put my Easy Grader?”
“Why is there a staple in my hair?”
4) A life-sized hamster wheel
For that one angel we all have.
5) A light-up PMS necklace
The heart of the ocean.
I love life most of the time. But exactly five days before
my period, I love nothing and nobody. If I had a necklace that lit up and
played a song (preferably, a happy, twinkly tune) when I was PMSing, it would
help me to recognize that my irritability and tears were coming from a place of hormonal chaos
rather than the real world, and I would be able to cope accordingly.
6) A clock that sings the perfect song at the beginning of
the day, during every passing period, and at the end of the day
This isn’t like an iPod alarm or something where I choose
the song; it just knows what to play. IT KNOWS!
7) Food-multiplying wand
If I’m starving during class and take out a granola bar during class,
everyone wants one. It would be nice to turn one into 35 with a simple wave of
my wand. Also, I could easily promise my classes cookies or mini quiches or
whatever I felt like because I would only have to make one instead of a hundred and twenty.  

The wand would
also come in handy when your coworker brings amazing leftovers from last
night’s dinner at that new steakhouse in town and you accidentally packed
yourself a bell pepper because you thought it was an apple in your early
morning lunch-packing stupor.

8) A zipline that goes from my room to my parking space
Because why not?
9) A remote-control robot teacher for
active monitoring during testing
Just program it to go up and down the aisles, sit back at
your desk, and Sudoku your little heart out. Also I emailed my mom and asked her to draw a robot teacher with a Sharpie in under 30 seconds and this is what she sent back. I cackled.
10) An arm belt
Basically I just want another set of hands.

Excuse me while I go have a nightmare about that arm belt.
What teaching inventions do you wish existed? I’m almost worried about your creativity.




  1. Ashley

    Have you ever heard of GradeCam? It is kiiiiiind of like #1. It will grade multiple-choice exams for you via webcam. You can also use it to bubble in grades from essays and it will import into your electronic gradebook. It's pretty magical. 🙂

    1. Ashley

      GradeCam.com. Our school bought a license for it, but it's not that expensive for an individual subscription. It makes the most satisfying "bloop" sounds as it grades. So much love for it.

  2. Linnea N

    11. Automatic pencil sharpening machine-that sharpens 100 pencils at a time, silently.
    12. A magic tape recorder that repeats anything I already said when kids weren't listening. Think, the kid who asks where to turn a paper in (in May).

  3. Suzy Palmer

    Those are hilarious…well I just really want never ending ink cartridges for my printer, a classroom robot that does everything I don't want to do (along the lines of a grading machine), and a machine that can either slow down time (like when I'm on a beach) or speed up time (like when I'm at a staff meeting). Is that too much to ask for?

    On the Go Teacher Mama

  4. Anonymous

    Ok, first, I need that necklace, and I don't even teach anymore. It's just for home use. (My husband doesn't understand why after 25 years of dealing with PMS I can't predict/recognize it better. He generally points this out WHILST I am PMSing and I generally respond by destroying him in some Game of Thrones-like way.) And, secondly, you need to add to your inventions a light that would flash if you are about to leave the teacher restroom with your skirt tucked into your panties. Please tell me I'm not the only one who needs this.

  5. Vance Nickelson

    This is awesome! Thanks for your humor. I would also like to add a mind-reading sensor in student desks that give them a slight jolt whenever they are thinking about doing anything that might disrupt the class. (Not a painful jolt- I'd never want to hurt anyone- just a little snap to get them back on task.)

  6. Anonymous

    An automatic responder that would say, "The teacher already said that!" for all the times a student who wasn't paying attention asked a question I'd already addressed. As a bonus, it would be great if it also thumped them in the head at such times.

  7. Julie Gordon

    #9 during state-testing season.

    I would think of some type of invention that allows me time to pee during the school day. I guess it would be alike to the silent spray, except maybe it would allow 5 minutes of "freeze" time so I could run to the bathroom down my hall, then upstairs, then to the other side of that hall and to the left (as the one in our own hall is always locked) and then run back down in enough time to also take in a sip of coffee… only to digest until the next pee run.

  8. Anonymous

    These are brilliant! I would like to add an extra pair of eyes on my back. Combine those with #10 on your list and you'll have instant freak show. (But don't you feel that way exactly sometimes when 20 pairs of eyes stare at you?)

  9. Kristy Anne

    I think you may be one of my top five favorite people on the planet. And I've never even met you. I found your blog on FB thanks to one of those teacher pages I favorited a long time ago.

    I went through and read every post you've ever written.

    And then I told all my teacher friends to read your blog. In fact, here's what I said on FB: Okay… so you will probably only enjoy this post if you have ever been a teacher, but this blog made me laugh. I bookmarked it. The person who writes this blog is a middle school teacher somewhere in our country. And she GETS IT. From the funny/crazy things that happen that remind you how privileged you are to be a teacher, right down to the not so funny things that make you want to tear all your hair out. I want to be friends with this person. But for now, I will settle for reading this blog. No matter what you teach, you should find something to relate to. Although I started on this post, I went back and read all previous posts. It was worth it. Happy May to all my teacher friends! And may the (state testing) odds be ever in your favor!"

    And some of my friends then told the rest of their friends to read your blog. Because you are hilarious. And honest. And refreshing.

    Thank you for making me laugh. Oh! And wasn't Paris just the best? I went last summer and I could move there tomorrow and be very happy. Too bad I don't speak enough french to make that an actual possibility.

    Also… as for your instant grading machine… have you heard of Mastery Connect? Because you should check it out. It doesn't grade essays (sad face), but it does do some other really cool things that make grading a much easier task. https://www.masteryconnect.com/

    Good luck this year! I look forward to reading your posts throughout the year.

  10. Brynn Allison

    This whole thing made me laugh so much. I am your newest follower. I would want a magic phone that puts you through to new numbers when the old one is out of service, disconnected, etc. for all those impossible to reach parents.
    Brynn Allison

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