I thought a cool way to start the blog would be to show everyone what I carry in my bag. This is my ‘full’ bag and I don’t take it with me to every OT job, but if I don’t know what to expect there is a good chance this is what my bag looks like.
*Keep in mind that the vast majority of my work is with grades 7/8 and higher
The bag itself is a 16 inch Dash Messenger bag from Belkin right now it is going for $80 USD, but I got it on sale for $40!
Take a look!
It is a great bag, with LOTS of pockets and space… so lets see what we have!
(if you want a better view you can click on any picture to get the full size)
We will deal with the G,B and F items later… here are the numbered items:
- Pentel RSVP Pens (Black/Fine)
- Highlighters and Green Marking Pen
- Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury – always carry a physical book to read if students have silent reading, especially one that can start discussions
- Evernote Moleskine Notebook (Large/Square) – Check out our review!
- BlackBerry Playbook (64GB, in Case)
- Clipboard – to hold lesson plans and ‘teacher copies’ as well as my ‘Class Report‘ form
- Bic Rollerball Pens and Pencils – students always need extra
- Assorted ‘teacher’ Pens, Pencils and Markers
- Lenovo Y401p 14 inch Laptop
- KleanKanteen (20oz, Insulated) – this will keep your drinks cold/hot all day!
- Kobo Mini (in case) – anthologies and short stories to read if needed
- Snack! (SunRype FruitSource bar)
So, that is the main part of the bag, finally! As you can see most of ‘the good stuff’ is in that section, but lets not forget about the other stuff…
G = Gridit, a GREAT organizational product from Cocoon!
I use the Medium Gridit as it fits perfectly in my bag, and when I need any ‘tech’ items I can just pull out the whole grid and know that the item will be there, no need to waste time searching through all the other stuff in my bag.
So what do I have packed into the Gridit?
- BlackBerry Z10 (w/ 64gb micro SD)
- MicroHDMI – HDMI Cable – to connect phone/tablet to projector
- 64gb USB 3.0 Drive – should hold everything you ever need for teaching
- Headphones (from the BlackBerry Z10)
- Bic Rollerball Pen
- BlackBerry Z10 Charging Bundle – extra battery for my phone, can also charge any device that uses microUSB
- BlackBerry Premium Charger – quick charger for any microUSB device
- Charger for the Lenovo Laptop
All that in the Gridit… wow!
Lets take a look at the front and back pockets:
I did’t number these because they are fairly obvious. On the left we have A LOT of sticky notes, all sizes, including stars. There are also erasers, binder clips and a stapler. Even a blue star stamp, beside the binder clips, for special occasions. There are also a few of my business cards to hand out.
On the right we have even more sticky notes, a couple of pens and some more of my own business cards (in the mini briefcase). There are also a couple business cards from other teachers that I know who do OT work. I always throw in some throat lozenges, gum and some change (you never know). The USB drive just has my resume and a couple of forms I use daily,like the Class Report that I leave every teacher.
The two small notebooks in the corners of the right image are a Moleskine Pocket Ruled Notebook, for daily notes (so I can go back and refresh my memory if I go back to certain classes after a long period of time) and a Moleskine Pocket 12-Month Planner, for scheduling and a lot of other cool things. We will have a review of the Planner coming soon!
That is everything, finally!
*There are some things that I missed, somehow. I ALWAYS carry Advil and a whistle, but for some reason they didn’t make it into the picture.
Why do I need all of this stuff?
You never know what to expect when it is your first day in a school/class. Will there be lesson plans? computers? extra pens/pencils for the students? You just never know, so with this bag, or anything similar, you should be totally covered.
If a teacher leaves a lesson plan that uses a projector, but none of the computers are working I can easily use my laptop (or the BlackBerry Playbook using the HDMI cord). If an internet connection is needed, but there is none, for whatever reason, I can use my Z10 to download the lesson/media and hook it up directly to the projector. *This also comes in handy if there are things that the students want to watch, but for some reason it isn’t working on the school computers… like streaming the Canadian Women winning gold with my Z10 because the room I was in didn’t have wi-fi*
If, for some reason, there are no plans left I can always pull out my Kobo and read a short story (age appropriate) and do some Q&A or group discussions, until the first break. Of course, you should always get to class early to make sure this doesn’t happen, but if it does it is good to know there is help in your bag.
Preparation is extremely important when it comes to teaching, and having a well planned bag allows you to be prepared for almost anything. With that being said, and seeing everything I sometimes carry, there are also times that I know I can leave some things behind.
Days where I am doing vacancy coverage, half-days at certain schools or gym jobs usually require less items. For those days I just transfer whatever I need over to my ‘small’ bag, which is this amazing Swift Backpack from Belkin.
That is how I prepare for my OT jobs. What is in your bag?
*Sidenote* Almost everything above was purchased when at least 25% off, some items over 75% off! I will try to keep everyone posted on great deals on supplies and essential items.