Following the first post on my EDC (everyday carry) setup as a teacher, I would like to continue this small series by presenting the second part of the essential stationery tools I take to school with me every day.
Before I begin, I should specify that at my school I don’t have a personal cupboard or drawer where I can keep items of stationery, so I’ve had to find a way to carry them with me to and from school, making the setup compact and portable, but also include everything I might need during my teaching day.
If you have read my previous post (if not, you can go back and read it here), you’ll know that for my stationery I usually carry a pencil case with the essentials that I use on a daily basis (in the picture, the pouch on the left), and then a smaller pouch for stationery items that don’t need to use daily, and that can therefore remain in my bag unless needed.
Today, I will be presenting what I consider my on-the-go-office pouch, trying to briefly explain why I take these things with me and what I use them for.
DISCLAIMER: I am not paid by any of the companies mentioned below to endorse their products. I purchased everything you see with my own money, and I am simply linking the company website in case you are interested in knowing more about it. I used the full name of some specific items because I find them useful and good value for money. None of the links in this post are sponsored.
EDC teacher pouch (for office supplies)
This is a Solognac X-Access small pouch I purchased for a very honest price (about 8 euros) at Decathlon Italy.1Unfortunately, this pouch seems to have been designed for hunting, and is sold at Decathlon in the hunting and fishing section. Although I strongly oppose hunting, I find this pouch really convenient, and good value for money. Compared to other carrying options (such as a purse or make-up pouch), this one has a lot of internal organization, which makes everything inside stay firmly in place and not bump against each other, as well as allowing me to find everything easily.
As you can see, it has three sets of elastic bands that keep your items in place, as well as a zip pocket and a slip pocket, and everything in a very compact size of 14 x 10 x 4 cm. The material is not waterproof but only water repellent, but honestly since I’m not using it for camping or other outdoor activities, this suits me perfectly. It also has a buckle on the back (not shown in the photo) which allows you to carry it on a belt or bike handle. Again, not my case, but it’s nice to know I have the option in case I wish to use it that way.
As you can see in the photos, all my tools and objects are either in the pockets or held by the elastic bands, which means nothing inside it is bouncing here and there while I carry this in my backpack.
On the “deeper” side of the pouch, in the elastics I keep:
- A portable stapler, which I use all the time to staple together paperwork that the school gives me, or work that students hand in, and so on. I’ve had this one for a long time, it’s about 9cm long and so it fits perfectly in the horizontal space of the pouch.
- A set of dice and counters, because you never know when a board game can save the lesson, or maybe you need to roll a die to decide who volunteers to do something. I know nowadays it’s easy enough to find a free online dice rolling app, but I see that students usually enjoy the fact of physically handling dice, so I keep these in my EDC, and use them a lot.
- Scotch tape, just because it’s one of those items that I definitely regret not having when I need it.
In the zip pocket at the back of this section, I keep:
- A bit of bluetac (it’s white in Italy, so it’s almost invisible in its white carrying paper), because it’s always handy to have some with you to hang up a small poster, attach pieces of paper or flashcards to the the walls or furniture for a running dictation, or simply to hang up student work in the classroom, anything really.
- Some elastic bands, to keep together cards or other small objects if needed.
- Small post-it notes. I don’t use these much, but I have used them in the past to give students feedback or discreetly give them instructions while the others are working.
In the other side of the pouch, the “lid”, I keep:
- Single hole punch, because I usually keep all my documents, lesson plans, class notes etc in a ringed binder, which means I have to punch holes through the documents in order to insert them in the binder. I could do that once I get home, but most of the time I end up misplacing or forgetting the paper in some unused pocket, so if I can I tend to punch it straight away and file it where I need it to be, so that I won’t forget about it.
- Extra staples for the above-mentioned stapler (if you can’t see them in the photo, they are in the small elastic bands on the left of the whole punch).
- A double pencil sharpener. I don’t normally use “traditional” pencils as I prefer mechanical ones, but sometimes I find myself using someone else’s pencil, and 90% of the times the pencil in question will need sharpening.
- Underneath the whole punch, you can see what I will call (I don’t know if these things have a proper name) “paper hole repair/reinforcement stickers”. They’re small round white stickers that you can attach around a hole punched on a sheet of paper if the paper gets ripped off — this often happens with use to punched paper. Something like this. I find them super-useful when using a binder, as I hate sheets that come loose, and create a big mess in my binder. So yeah, these little things can save the day in that situation.
- A set of mines for my mechanical pencil, so that if I don’t realize in time when I’m at home that I’m finishing the current mine, I always have some extra for backup with me.
In the back slip pocket I have:
- A pack of regular post-it notes, which I often use for activities, peer feedback, and so on.
- Some green-red laminated “decision” cards that I made myself, and that I often use for decision-making activities, or during feedback when the class are shy and don’t want to speak up to agree or disagree with peers. Again, something that might easily be done with thumbs up 👍 or down 👎, but simply the fact of handling these cards seems to add a layer of motivation and interest, at least on some students, so I make sure to always have them with me.
That’s it, these are the contents of my on-the-go-office pouch.
There is still a little room in the pouch, so if during the school year I realise that I need something else, I can always add to it and make it as complete and personalised as I want.
What items do you carry to school every day? How do you carry them? If you are interested in exchanging ideas and tips, please use the contact details in my about page to get in touch.
Happy beginning of the school year to everyone!
- 1Unfortunately, this pouch seems to have been designed for hunting, and is sold at Decathlon in the hunting and fishing section. Although I strongly oppose hunting, I find this pouch really convenient, and good value for money.