Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This...right here...is my....bag

Pencils...papers...they're in the...bag.

If you haven't heard Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" then you probably don't know what I'm "slow rapping".  That's ok...it's not important, although now it's stuck in my head.  Annyyyywhoooo.

I know...everyone posts about this.  But it is one of the most essential piece of equipment for every teacher.  It's the bag you will undeniably carry back and forth almost every day to and from school.  The bag that is a catch all for your morning snack, writing utensils, technology parts, and stuffed to the brim with books and papers.  You'll throw it over your shoulder and be on your way.

If you're like me, then you toss in "only the things I'm actually going to get done tonight" as you head out of your classroom for the day.  Then you get home and you're all "mayyybe tomorrow."

Your teacher bag is important.  It's your best friend and goes with you everywhere.  It is strategically chosen to be the most effective classroom organization item.  If you don't like your teacher bag, you are constantly frustrated with how it is working.  It is a daily annoyance.  If you love it, it's the most convenient bag you've thrown over your shoulder in years.  It is your mobile office.

The "Official" Teacher Bag
I've been through a few teacher bags in my eight years.  Finally, I settled on my one favorite.  Ok, fine, two favorites.

My all time favorite bag is my Kate Spade messenger bag.  It is hands down my best teacher purchase.  I had actually been looking at it for years, thinking I could get by with my less expensive knock off version, but knock offs are never as good as the original.  Unfortunately, Kate (we're totally on a first name basis) doesn't sell this little darling anymore, and I don't see a comparable bag on her site.  I had been eyeing it for years, and in turn, have loved it for years.  It fits my planner and any papers/file folders I haul back and forth.  It does fit my tablet and camera, but not my laptop.  I take it everywhere, although not always filled with teaching things.  It's great for flying and perfect for walking around in the city.  I will actually take teaching stuff out of this bag and hide all of it in the trunk of my car just so that I can use the bag without feeling Teacher Guilt.  Teacher Guilt is a real thing.

My other great bag was one that I got as a gift this year.  It's the large utility tote from Thirty-One.  I know these bags are super popular/trendy right now, but they're just generally not my style.  I would have never bought this bag for myself, but it was a really great gift.  It's been my "paper checking" bag where I toss all the papers I need to look at, plus it's the perfect size to toss my computer in before heading out the door.  It's also great for holding my lunch, or as a catch all for any other supplies I need to take to school.  It's the bag I didn't know I needed until I had it.  I can reluctantly say, ok fine, this is a really great bag.  It also works great for keeping those papers I stuffed in the trunk of my car from getting all mixed up.

The Pencil Bag
My other teacher "bag" of sorts is the pencil bag.  Of course, I carry a full supply of Flare Pens, highlighters, pencils, pencil sharpeners, paper clips, and the assorted jump drive or two, so I need a good pencil bag to toss it in.  I can't tell you how many times I misplace my jump drives!!  Since I splurged on my teacher bag, I kept it cheap for my trusty pencil bag.  I just use the free make-up bags from Clinique Bonus Days.  It is the only time I buy make-up so that I can get all the freebies (perfect travel size containers for flights!) so I collect those little bags and store them in my closet at school.  I don't know how many make-up bags they think one woman needs, but I collect them all.  You can't tell me that little bag tucked behind all those cosmetics isn't made for pencils/markers/highlighters/etc.  If I should ever need a new one, I have them in stock, plus I don't feel bad handing them out if a student needs a pencil bag (although for some a gallon baggie is just fine, thankyouverymuch).  

The Lunch Bag
Again, I never would have bought this bag myself.  I am the teacher carrying their lunch in those little shopping bags from the department store (it's free!).  They fit my lunch perfectly, and when they are too old or when I spill something all over them, I throw them away.  I'm also the teacher that grabs a sleeve of crackers and the entire block of cheese before running out the door in the morning.  But apparently that was not acceptable, so one of my students bought me a lunch bag (this does not change the crackers and block of cheese situation, it just gives me somewhere to put those items).  So now I have the Vera Bradley lunch bag in Green Cupcake.  It does a great job of holding my lunch.

So basically, the only bag I've bought for myself is my wonderful and versatile Kate Spade messenger, plus a lot of make-up.  I just realized that as I was writing this.

Also, tonight I blogged instead of grading papers... so that untouched bag will go back to school tomorrow!

I'll leave you with Jimmy Fallon's latest "Classroom Instrument" Oscar winning song, Let it Go.  I'm trying to pretend that all this cold never bothered me, anyway.

Happy Teaching!

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