How to...pack your bags

Cool bag, trendy colleague

Unlike the plastic supermarket carrier bags you have.

So what's in the smart container?

An emergency kit for every occasion, the tools for the job - collected wisdom stuffed in a sack.

Pens and pencils?

Some chalk, dry markers, pencils of every hue with matching eraser and sharpener, pens (red, blue and black) and a thick felt tip. There will be paper to scribble on, file paper for writing, graph paper for maths and spare exercise books. Plus a cloth for cleaning the board before and afterwards.


A dictionary and a thesaurus, a blow-up globe, a short story book and a notebook containing favourite emergency lessons. Also a protractor, a compass, a ruler and a calculator (spare batteries will be packed, of course).

And to organise your day?

A timetable, lesson plans and work for the day, class lists, a school handbook (including emergency procedures, a map, a staff list and phone numbers), user name and password, an alarm clock, a code for the combination locks and keys for the rest.

Add a glue stick, scissors, a ruler, a stapler and drawing pins and I'm all set for display work, too.

And human needs?

Tissues (for leaks of every kind), a packed lunch, boiled sweets, a named copy of The TES Magazine, a bottle of water and a thermos flask of coffee.

The complete first-aid kit then...

Yes, and how do you manage?

In this recyclable plastic bag a laptop with my life's work. In the other a bottle of gin to drink if I lose the first one, or for a power cut. The bags under my eyes come extra. Swap you?

Duncan Grey is author of 100+ Essential Lists For Teachers and First Aid Kit For Teachers (Continuum)

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