In two weeks my school reconvenes for the Spring 2013 semester. I’ve taught a variety of levels before finding my home in the college level classroom (and with school age children as a whole), but many of my other teacher pals are always amazed by the amount of things I carry in my “teacher bag.” It might be because I’m paranoid, but I tend to keep many of the same things in my “teacher” bag that I would carry in my normal purse. For the teachers out there in the blogosphere who need to know what to carry, and to the interns who are hoping to land their first teaching job, here is my list of go-to products that have proven useful for me, my former preschool kids, and my current college crazies.
This baby right here is my teacher bag. After a long time of searching for the perfect school bag, I finally decided to drop some dough on a North Face Borealis Backpack. A while ago, I wrote a blog post about how spending more on certain products turns your accessories into an investment. Two years later, my backpack is still looking as new as the day I purchased it. This backpack has paid for itself twice over and I couldn’t be happier with it. So, the first step is obviously finding a strong foundation to carry all of your items–and believe me, you’re going to have a lot of them!
So, what should be in a teacher bag? Following is a list of products and items I’ve had in my backpack since I landed my job a year and a half ago. Remember, I teach students who are usually over 18 years old yet each of these items has come in handy for them and for me.
Tissues and Hand Sanitizer: These two products have saved me when it comes to staying healthy and has kept my students healthy, too. I bring enough tissues and hand sanitizer so that I can share it with my students. I’m with them on an average of four times a week or more! If they stay healthy, so do I!
Water Bottle: Not until I began talking for hours on end every day did I realize that coffee doesn’t cut it. Get a cheap reusable water bottle and you’ll skip having to run out in the hall to a water fountain. (Yes, this is spoken from experience).
Band-aids and Neosporin: Yes, even for older students! If you can whip out a band-aid it keeps your student in your class rather than them losing time to go to the nurse. For college students, it’s just plain convenience.
Burt’s Bees Tinted Lipbalm: I chose this lip balm for two reasons. 1) Because I support Burt’s, their philosophy, and their products. They make a good product and in my opinion they work to stay ethical. 2) Because it gives me quick color for in between class touch-ups without a hassle. While you’re teaching, easy = your best bet!
So, in addition to the pens, pencils, paper, post-it notes, and planners (notice all the P’s??) a teacher should be prepared with a little something to keep you looking fresh and products that keep your students safe and healthy. I’d also like to add that in most cases you will be buying your own tissues, purell, and other “extra” supplies. It’s just the way it is and those who are dedicated to the education profession already know that! Get packing!