Monday, February 20, 2012

Clutter Free - Teacher Bag

I skipped Week 6 of the Clutter Free classroom project. I just couldn't bring myself to upcycling anything because I'm just getting good at throwing things out. Well that isn't entirely true--I asked a parent for a Pringles can (her daughter had Pringles for snack) and I'm going to use it for Power Towers a-la Teacher Tipster.

However, Week 7 over at the Clutter Free classroom project is all about teacher bags. I LOVE my teacher bags. I love buying them, I love filling them and I love carrying them. Sometimes I fill it up, carry it home, and carry it back to school in the morning. I suppose I need to change things. Here is my current teacher bag:

I got this beautiful Vera Bradley bag at the beginning of this school year. It was my first new bag in a few years, and I loved how it had a magnetic closure up top. I've since discovered that if it is too full, that feature doesn't work, and stopping quickly leads to the contents spilled all over the floor of the car. There are three pockets on the inside which hold my zip drive(s), post-its and my pen/pencil case. This is actually my 5th Vera teacher bag--I worked at Hallmark from high school up until just two years ago and I couldn't resist them, especially at 30% off. However, seeing everyone else post about Thirty One bags, I'm intrigued and need to find out if those exist here in NH....

The current contents of my bag (minus papers to be corrected and a game I am currently procrastinating copying and cutting) are below:

Strategies that Work has been in and out of my bag along with my Mentor Texts
book that I used in my masters class in the fall and love. I'm hoping that once I'm done with my degree in May I will get to really sit down and plan some things out with them for next year.
I also recently got Debbie Diller's Math Workstations and am working on a few new workstations to introduce tomorrow. Otherwise, I've got my (school) ipad, pen/pencil case (a Vera Bradley makeup brush and pencil case), Teaching Tolerance, math and reading folders, and my notebook for observations, ideas, thoughts, phone calls, and whatever else comes up. My Erin Condren life planner is always in my bag, but since I was emptying what what in my bag untouched all weekend, the planner was the one thing that was taken out before hand. My husband got it for me for Christmas after a *minor* meltdown about how I needed to plan my life so I wouldn't be disorganized. It helps, but is not a miracle maker *yet*.

I need to be a bit more deliberate about only bringing home what I need and will use, and making sure the bag gets emptied at home and at school. I've always just left things in my bag and don't know how to kick the habit. Actually, last year's teacher bag is sitting under my sewing machine with things from the end of the year still in it. Hopefully I don't need any of it...

Head over to the Clutter-Free Classroom to see everyone else's bag and great ideas:

Clutter-Free Classroom


  1. Hi Caryl!

    Ahh, I just love looking at everyone's teacher bags! Your's is super cute! How is the Strategies that Work book? I have the older version that I got along with a bunch of books from another teacher, but haven't had the time to pick it up and read it yet. I've been hearing a lot about it though, so I'm thinking I may need to start looking for it (or get the newer edition)! And I would highly recommend the Erin Condren teacher planner for next year!! It is beautiful! :)

    Lessons with Laughter

  2. You're like your father. He's been bringing home a loaded brief case for years and has never, ever opened it. Then he hauls it back to work the next morning only to bring it home at night.

  3. Hey Caryl! Thanks for stopping my blog and leaving a comment. You should totally look into Thirty-One; it is amazing! I think you can just order online- it doesn't matter where you live. I love your Vera bag though! I have been wanting to get one, but they are just so darn expensive! Anyway, love your blog, so cute!

    -Mrs. Thompson

    Adventures in Teaching

  4. I just love your bag!!! It is soo pretty. I also have a problem with my bag getting too full. It is amazing how much stuff we need every day.

    The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate

  5. Although the Vera Bradley bags are super cute, my old laptop bag strap broke, so I just purchased 2 of the 31 bags off of ebay. I think both of the prints I liked were retired prints, but they have other new cute prints as well. I posted my new bags on my blog. The thing that I like most about the 31 bag is the space. I was unable to fit a large binder in my other bag with other items - no problem now. Thanks for sharing:)

    Two Fulbright Hugs
    Teacher Timesavers

  6. What a nice dark design. What my bag is missing is a zipper so I envy yours.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan