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10 Items a School Administrator’s Office Must Have

Well, today I came into my new office.

I was rather excited about this day, because after 23 years of being a classroom teacher, I actually have an office that I can call my own.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m starting my first year as a school administrator.

As a teacher at my other school, I had my classroom, but because of the number of students and our year-round schedule, I only had that classroom for three months before I had to pack up and move.

It was the worst part of working at a year-round school.

I liked the month-long vacations after every three months, but having to pack up everything got really old. I could never decorate my room the way I wanted to. I always had to take into account that whatever I put up on the walls, I was going to have to tear down in three months. It made for a really boring-looking classroom.

Now, however, I have my own office that I can decorate the way I want.

It’s pretty exciting.

So, I thought I’d write a post about what I think a school administrator’s office should include. I know I’m going to miss some stuff, so I will be asking other administrators to chime in with their suggestions at the end of this post.

Here we go:

10 Items a School Administrator’s Office Must Have

1. A mini-fridge – My old team bought me a mini-fridge as a going-away gift. I know when I’ve subbed as an administrator, every office had a mini-fridge. It’s where you can put your lunch or extra water bottles or soda, etc. I know there is a staff refrigerator, but you need your own place. A lot of times, administrators eat at their desk. Having the food right there makes it easier for you.

2. Framed diplomas and awards – Have your accomplishments and educational successes posted where people can see them. It shows visitors (parents, teachers, and students) that you have earned your position through years of education. Including awards and certificates that you have won sends the message that your advice and abilities have been recognized and valued.

3. A globe – Every office should have a globe. I don’t know exactly why, but a globe has a way of making an office more distinguished. My wife bought a globe for me to place in my new office, and it looks cool.

4. Books about leadership – This shows your visitors that you have studied the art of leadership. It subconsciously labels you as a leader. I think. I hope. I’m still working on building my library of leadership books. Any suggestions?

5. Photos of family and friends – Visitors want to see that you are a real person. Having photos of your wife and kids visible can make uncomfortable conversations a little less formal. They also serve as ice-breakers.  

6. A comfortable chair – This is an easy one.

7. Breath mints – You know.

8. Aspirin – You’re going to have those kind of days.

9. Phone directory of important contacts – Have the numbers of people from the district and other important people somewhere close by.

10. The basics – pencils, pens, Scotch tape, paper clips, post it notes, etc.

So there’s my list.

I know there are other must-haves that I need to include. I guess I’ll find out what those are as I continue on my journey, but if you have any suggestions, I’m open.

Am I missing anything? Please help me add to the list of what I need to add to my new office.

Until next time,




  1. Stephanie Young's Gravatar Stephanie Young
    July 20, 2011    

    I keep a student desk and chair in my office. Occasionally when I’m giving a student a “pep talk,” I remind them that I have a space for them to work in my office in case they are unable to complete their work in their classroom.

    • Sam's Gravatar Sam
      July 23, 2011    

      This is a good idea Stephanie. I have a couple of regular chairs for meetings, but not a student desk. I like the idea of having a student complete their work in there. Thanks, Sam

  2. Tina's Gravatar Tina
    August 16, 2011    

    Candy/chocolates… Always a nice tension breaker when a disgruntled parent or teacher comes in.

    Also, keep and hang any kind notes/emails you receive from students, staff, or parents on a bulletin board of some kind… Nice reminders of why you do what you do when you have a bad day. 🙂

    • Sam's Gravatar Sam
      August 16, 2011    

      I like the candy idea, but I always end up eating all of them. I will definitely have my positive notes posted on my bulletin board. Great idea! Thanks Tina.

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