Tuesday, 14 January 2014

What's in my Bag?

I was recently asked by the TES (Times Educational Supplement) to contribute a 'What's in your Bag?' piece. Here's a link to it, including those by other contributers:

And here's the full version of my bag's contents (before editing):


Here's my bag, and by way of explanation... this is my 'weekend' bag. On Saturdays and Sundays our school is open for 'weekend' school with different teachers and different children. So... seeing as none of the cupboards lock in my room, everything that I want to see again on Monday morning must squeeze into my bag.

Moving clockwise from bottom left...

1. My mobile phone. But not for the obvious reason. My mobile phone (luckily) came with a superb English/Spanish dictionary built-in, so when Pedro pelts across the playground screaming, 'Cabrón!' at Miguel, I can haul him in and give him a (metaphorical) clip 'round the ear. (Cabrón is one of the milder swearwords my dictionary can cope with, although it's essential in class as well so that I have half a chance of understanding the Spanglish that is the main means of communication used by my children.)
2. Memory stick. Not my choice of style or colour I'll hastily add. A gift from a child.
3. Thermos mug. Coffee in winter (yes we do have one), water in summer. I like to have the flexibility not to go to the staffroom at break. Especially if there's been a Cabrón incident to attend to...
4. El País newspaper. My homework. I'm a slow learner (even with a superb dictionary) so the Sunday edition lasts all week.
5. Valencia v Manchester United Champions League commemorative scarf. This usually hangs from the ceiling to generate 'discussion' between me and the Valencian children but always comes home at the weekend. This season I'm considering leaving it there...
6. Laptop. How did I ever teach without this?
7. 'Dave' the puppet. My class are 6- and 7-year-old Spaniards. Even the shyest child can't resist telling Dave off when he starts picking his nose. He's not really naughty, I tell them, he's just a bit of a scamp. (No, that's not the same as Cabrón!)
8. Hat + sunglasses = playground duty!
9. Highlighter pens, what Spaniards delightfully call fosfis (Foss-fees). I now call them fosfis too.
10. Permanent markers. We do a lot of singing. The children are always bringing in CDs to take copies of the music/lyrics home.
11. HD Flip video. We do a lot of videoing as well. The children love to see themselves up on the interactive whiteboard. I love them to hear themselves talking in English. 
12. IWB stylus. I want to see this again on Monday!
13. English/Spanish power converter.
14. Camera. I take lots of snaps whenever a child brings in a shell, leaf, snail, wild hedgehog. Then we write about it on the IWB, then we read about it together... We also do regular 'show and tell' lessons where everything else comes in. Bikes, skateboards, parrots, enormous paella dishes...
15. Blank CDs.
16. Secret supply of whiteboard markers. The stock cupboard is locked and guarded and opens (without much warning) at odd and infrequent hours...
17. Secret supply: glue sticks.
18. Secret supply: pencils...
19. Secret supply: This one's a secret!

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