04 1 / 2012
When I first found out I was going to be a floater I quickly Googled the hell out of the topic and found a few good tips/tricks and the famous cart. I have read plenty of good reviews about using a cart and have seen a few pretty tricked out ones that are kind of cool, but this does not suit my reality. I travel to 5 different classrooms throughout the day most of which prevent me from using a cart in one way or another. The classroom is either to small to hold a chunky, clunky cart (some of the classrooms I visit are seriously small!) or the road to said classroom is too treacherous for it to travel smoothly. It would either be in my way most of the time or it would be too hard to get from point A to point B. So a cart was simply not in the stars form me. Still, I needed something to get me and my materials from classroom to classroom without having to carry it all in my arms. I did that the first day and boy was it a huge mistake. I kept dropping and losing things along the way and now everyone knows me as the clumsy teacher!
Enter the teacher bag. There are quite a few teacher bags out there that you can use to carry your things around but I have found that the ones that work best are those that aren’t too big (the bigger they are the more junk you tend to put in them) and have plenty of pockets to put your supplies in neatly. This is my current bag. It was a present from one of my 3rd graders:
It has two side pockets, three front pockets and an extra pocket on the inside. The strap is adjustable and it also has handles so I can carry it around like a briefcase. Plus its a pretty shade of pink and purple (though the crappy cell phone pic doesn’t do it justice).
It’s big enough to hold both my binders (more on hose here), my teacher’s guide, and my practice book. I use the extra pockets for my school supplies (pens, extra pencils calculator, and all the sorts). It’s really the perfect size an since I can’t over stuff it I don’t have any trouble carrying it around.
I also have an expanding folding crate for when I have to pick up the kids workbooks and notebooks or for when I have a few extra materials (activities, centers, etc) that I can’t carry in the bag.
I don’t always drag it around with me, only when I need to.
Lastly, I always ask the homeroom teachers if I can have a small space in their classroom to keep a few things. This helps me not to carry around any extra stuff. You can have a filing box, folders, or even an expandable, really whatever works for you. Just be sure to keep your weeks handouts or worksheets, some extra blank sheets of papers, activities for your early finishers, and for when you need to fill in some extra time. That way you won’t have to worry that you forgot to bring something or you left it in the previous room! Plus you won’t have to drag it around in your bag all day which will just make it heavier and uncomfortable.
So far this system has been working for me. There are still a few tweaks here and there that I need to do iron out but nothing too big. How about you? What do you do to get from classroom to classroom? Hast the cart worked for you or are you faced with my same dilemma?
The first 1 would be great for a male teacher, the third one is quite fashionable, and I would absolutely looooove the fourth one!