A few weeks ago when I shared that I would be creating this series I got a few questions regarding what student teachers should bring with them on a daily basis. This is definitely a personal preference. Some people might bring more items back and forth, on a daily basis, while others will carry very few things. It also will depend on the space you are given to make your own within the classroom you are located. I was fortunate to have my own desk. My cooperating teaching was kinda enough to provide me with just about all of the supplies I needed (post it notes, pencils, pens, highlighters, notepads, paper, index cards, a clipboard, paper clips, stickers, tape, white out, binder clips, rubber bands, markers, a coffee mug, tissues, hand sanitizer, and more). I was also in a safe privileged school, so I was able to leave things on my desk without them being taken. This meant that I didn't have to bring too many supplies back and forth with me- only the ones that I would need to complete the items on my nightly to do list.
Let's start off with the bag. I had been looking at this tote from Madewell for several years. I always thought it would be what I would ask for as a graduation present since it didn't quite align with my college student budget. However, a few weeks before school started J.Crew came out with their fall catalogue as well as a sale. I found a tote even better than the transport tote I originally wanted. The All Day Tote was just screaming my name. It seemed to be similar in size to the other tote, but it had more pockets- better for organization. I ended up getting it for about 50% off, so I decided to personalize it with my first initial. The gold personalization and the bag tag really spice the plain black bag up. The bag itself was designed to be an everyday bag to get the working woman through an entire day (barre class all the way through lunch and the working day). This bag definitely did not disappoint me this past semester. I have gotten my money's worth and will use it throughout my teaching career.
I typically brought two folders back and forth each day. One folder contained assignments that needed grading. Keeping them in a folder helped me prevent them from getting damaged in my bag. The other folder contained miscellaneous items like papers that needed copied, ideas for future lessons, notes from seminar, etc. This was the first time I used filing folders as opposed to pocket folders. I actually found that the filing folders were better to use because they didn't crinkle the papers and could hold more. I found these folders on sale at TJ Maxx before the semester started.
I alternated between bringing my laptop and ipad. I has access to the wifi, so I was able to bring either device. The school I was at relied heavily on Google Drive, so I had access to all necessary documents from pretty much anywhere. If I knew we would have the laptop cart, then I would only bring my iPad in. However, if we didn't have the laptop cart reserved then I would bring my laptop in. I found it easier to grade online assignments from my ipad, but it was easier to create assignments, lesson plans, etc. using my laptop.
This was something I used a lot. My agenda had a few blank pages in it, but I ran out of those pretty quickly. This notebook came to meetings, lesson planning with my cooperating teacher, home on the weekends, etc. I used it to take notes during meetings, write out daily to do lists, write reminders to myself, inspirational quotes, things my students would say that stuck with me, etc. This notebook was the perfect size. You can find something like it at Target, Amazon, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx.
I highly recommend getting an agenda to use just for the semester of student teaching. You will want something with a lot of space and multiple calendars. I used the front calendar to keep track of my personal life and the calendar before each month as one to keep track of school life (meetings, letter days, assemblies, etc.). I purchased a jumbo Lilly agenda towards the end of last year. It gave me plenty of space and provided me with colorful inspiration on challenging days.
I brought this back and forth with me, but I mainly used it when I was grading papers or writing lesson plans outside of school. This creme de la creme (cream of the crop) pencil case is from Anthropologie. They don't sell this exact one anymore, but you can still find similar ones here. I always kept a few black pens, a highlighter, a pencil, eraser, paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, white out, stickers and a packet of post-it notes inside of it.
This one is pretty self explanatory since you shouldn't leave the house without it. Plus you never know when you might need a few dollars to donate to whatever the cause of the month is.
I call this pouch my emergency kit, but it's really just the random items I never know when I need. I bring this in all of my bags. I usually keep lotion, hair ties, a hair clip, bobby pins, lipstick, chapstick, feminine products, hand sanitizer, gum, cough drops, tissues, advil, and my inhaler in it. All of these items came in handy throughout the semester.
Some days I needed these and others I didn't, but I always liked to keep them with me. I found that days when I did a lot on the computer or when I was grading essays I needed them.
Water is something that I hardly ever leave the house without. During the school day water is a necessity. As a teacher, you talk a lot. Your throat will get dry, so you always want to make sure you have water. I used the 32 oz. Hydroflask. It kept my water colder throughout the entire school day. I would usually try to fill this up twice from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. Drinking out of a water bottle consistently also helped me track how much water I was consuming.
This came to and from school with me just about everyday. Some mornings it was filled with ice/cranberry juice/orange juice, iced coffee, or hot tea. During school, my cooperating teacher would make tea so I would fill it up on chilly afternoons as a pick me up.
In case nobody has told you yet, teachers don't have much time to eat. You will want to pack your lunch to save time and to make sure you're eating healthy. I always made sure my lunchbox was filled with a mid morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack for the hour (plus some) long drive home. My Vera Bradley Lunch Bunch Bag fit perfectly in my tote.
Some other items I kept in my bag were a hair brush, my keys, pepper spray, my school ID, my ID for the school district I was in, and a charger for my laptop/ipad.