How to...pack your bags

2nd February 2007 at 00:00
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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