What's In My Writing Teacher Bag?
Using My Bag to Navigate the Demands of Teaching
I have to admit that I love the "What's in your bag?" posts on different blogs and on YouTube. It is interesting to see what people can and cannot live without when they are taking on the workweek. Also, QVC purse reviews are my jam. I will also admit that a good handbag is one of my weaknesses, kryptonite if you will, that can block my focus throughout the day. We all have these vices. Some like skincare or beauty products, some like technology, some really like chocolate or treats. Indulgences are what can keep a teacher sane. Mine just so happens to be my bag. I also really enjoy the memes about teacher bags being a carry-all for all of life. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Normally, the infamous teacher bag is large enough to carry all aspects of life. I vowed to start getting away from this last summer when I looked at my paper systems. My goal with my teacher bag was directly linked to self-care. I wanted to take home less paper and be able to carry easily what I did need to take home. Also, now with Google Classroom, I am grading more material online and making comments on their electronic papers. I am still always working on this goal because even though my bag may be getting lighter, I definitely don't want an invisible "electronic" cloud of to-do lists floating over my head either.
Here are the different aspects of my own teacher bag broken down by each section. I have also included product links in case you want to grab any of these items. **NOTE: These are not affiliated links. I have not partnered with any product on this post besides the wooden notebooks that I sell in my Etsy shop**
1. The Bag
I decided on my brown bag from Dooney and Bourke because it can hold my whole life and still function when I want to not be a teacher carrying all of my life with me. This QVC video also sold me. I buy one really great bag per year. Although they are more expensive, they last for a long time. Some critical aspects of a good bag that I need and want:
- Pebble leather is sturdy. It can stand up to Michigan snow and rain.
- A top close makes sure that everything stays in place. I really appreciate the extra set of snaps along the edges when my bag is emptier when running errands on the weekends.
- Pockets. I have a large zip pocket, a wallet pocket, and another two pockets. I. Love. Pockets.
- A key keeper is a magical thing.
- Feet on the bottom keep it from getting too beat up at school or on-the-go.
2. Teacher Materials
I love my WRITE-ON pencil pouch that I received from a student as a gift one year. It carries all of my teacher supplies, as well as my beauty items. Below the pouch are two sets of essays that need to be graded for my sixth graders, and then a file folder full of class lists. I use these class lists to do hop-checks and want to enter these at night time or on the weekend when I can catch a free moment to input grades.
Above are my teacher keys with ID, business cards for me when I network with other teachers or bloggers (all teachers should have this), my husband's business cards, and some collected business cards from people I have met.
Need business cards? I love Vistaprint.
We just got new Lenovo Yoga Chromebooks from our district that are lightweight and battery long lasting. I don't have to carry my charging cord at all when I carry my Yoga Book. More and more of my grading and work is being done on Google Classroom and in the world of the Google in general. Here are 5 ways I use my Chromebook on the go:
- Commenting on papers and providing feedback online through Google Classroom.
- Checking email and responding to parent emails.
- Google slides organize all of my class warm-ups. I use this daily.
- I can fold over the Chromebook to take attendance on-the-go.
- Google Cast allows me to connect to my projector at school to share what I am looking at on my tablet.
Link: Lenovo Yoga Chromebook
I have to have these pencils. Papermate Sharp Writers are my go-to for bullet journaling and also for taking notes at school. I can easily erase or doodle in the margins while I am thinking. I always like to have sticky notes for reading or annotating and BIC pens are my personal favorite.
I almost always have to have my headphones on me. I will use them to keep my focused while grading papers after school or even running errands around town. I also love my matching wallet pouch from Dooney and Bourke. It carries all of my cash, cards, and receipts. Keeping track of finances is necessary in the fight to remain stress-free.
4. Writing Tools
Every writing teacher needs notebooks. I take this to the extreme of always having a few around me. I have my bullet journals, my wooden blog planner, and two smaller reporter notebooks for when I need to take quick notes. I am slowly moving out of my yellow Leuchtturm into my new Emerald one. I should be all set for the transfer by Spring Break.
Link: Small Shorthand Reporter's Notebook from Iron Curtain Press or if you are in Kalamazoo, MI grab one from Read and Write Kalamazoo's shop!
Even if I am not sick I carry all of these items. Some days involve talking more than others, and on the days when there is a TON of talking (like writing conferences for example), I reach for my Green Tea with Ginger and Cough Drops. I also always have Clorox travel wipes with me just in case. Attend a meeting? Wipe down your area. Sit down at a staff meeting? Clean off your spot. We are already working in a petri dish of sorts, put the odds in your favor.
I have got to have all types of lip coverage in my arsenal. I love chapstick, lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss, and more. I also have a comb and a brush for quick touch-ups, hand cream, hand sanitizer, and invisibobble hair ties for days when I regretted putting my hair down.
Link: All Burt's Bees Items
Link: Clinique Almost Lipstick
Link: Invisibobble Hair Tie
It is hard to tell what is in this little bottle, but it is Mario Badescu Rose Water spray. I love a quick refresh during the day, and it also is a great make-up setting spray. It also helps that a large bottle of this is $7.00. I can leave some in the bathroom and take some on the road.
Writing Mindset Reflection: What is in YOUR teacher bag? I would love to know how you navigate taking papers to and from school.