Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Does Your Teaching Bag Look Like?

Here is my teaching bag. Look familiar? I lug that thing back and forth around with me each day, but as the school year progresses the bag gets fuller. I was just thinking the other day that it was time to clean it out.

My full, messy teaching bag really leads to a bigger problem. I think you already know what that is! We, as teachers, accumulate too much paper! It's true! How many times have you attended a meeting or a workshop where you were given a stapled handout and you never, EVER looked at it again? I know some of you are nodding your heads. You know exactly what I mean! Sometimes those papers end up in a file somewhere. Sometimes those papers end up in a stack on our desks. Heck, some of those papers are in my teacher bag right now and you can see them in the photo above! Ha ha!!! When we start out as new teachers we think we are supposed to save everything. So we do and it ends up being a bad habit. And boy do we need to break it!

Now don't get me wrong, I have attended workshops where I actually needed or wanted to keep the handouts and booklets that were given to me. But let's face it- those are few and far between. I have tried really hard to get in the habit of throwing things away if I am absolutely sure I will never need it again and holding the others for a few months just in case, then tossing it. The key is to purge! Why on earth would I need to hold on to a document from fifteen years ago on a computer program that no longer exists??? Believe me some teachers do. I know because I have moved into their classrooms and have to clean out all their...well, let's say "stuff" that they have so conveniently left behind while they are lounging on a beach somewhere in the world with their retirement clothes on and a icy drink in their hand. (I know, they probably aren't really doing that. They are probably at home sleeping in.)

So I have shown you my bag. I looked through it to see what was actually in there and here is what I found.

*My two notebooks that I use daily
*School Keys and Badge
*The documents from a workshop I attended at the beginning of December
*A bag of cough drops
*PTA meeting documents
*A form I used when I was interviewing new teachers last summer
*My class list (Oh! I need that!)
*Paperwork from a meeting I attended last June
*Beginning of year documents and schedules (what are those doing in there?)
*My Halloween file (ok, now I'm embarrassed)
*A game for R-Controlled vowels
*Another workshop document
*A document I was supposed to fill out and turn in months ago (Opps!)

What's in your bag?


  1. Yep! My teaching bag looks exactly like yours! Sometimes I have 2, depending if I'm bringing home work to check. When I clean out my bag I always find enough paper clips and rubber bands to restock the little dishes on my desk!

    1. Your paper clips and rubber bands comment made me laugh!