The Big Bag Bother

Today I learned… that my shoulder really freaking hurts.

I once posted about how I don’t carry a teacher bag.  I don’t lug stuff home, I don’t have a giant organizer bag, nothing.  Yeah… this morning I realized that while that may be true… I have a big bother of another bag.  I don’t when I sold my soul to the big bag gods, but at some point I started filling up my purse with random stuff.  Seriously.  It’s weird.  It’s like I subconsciously thought “well it’ll fit, so I’ll just toss it in for now and put it away later.”  Somewhere along the way, I turned my purse into a giant bag of holding (if you don’t know, ask someone in a comic book shop).

Here’s what is inside my bag. I dumped it out and organized it just for you.  Printed copy of student grades?  Check. First aid kit? Check.  Three lip glosses?  Check, check, check.  Lighter, even though I don’t smoke?  Velcro for a bulletin board at school that I absolutely did not have to put in my purse and bring home?  Even trial contacts and contact solution that, again, did NOT have to be in that bag.

ImageThen I weighed it. 6 pounds. 6 pounds of crap I really don’t need. It’s got an undetectable extension charm.  It’s bigger on the inside. Whatever.  It’s over.  I’m done.  I’m breaking up with the giant bag.

Again, those of you carrying around a giant purse, messenger bag, or teacher bag, take note. Big bags are okay, as long as you aren’t packing them full of random things.  That weight is murder on your shoulders, neck, and lower back.  Just ask Oprah.  Take inventory of what you really need on a day to day basis, and get rid of the rest.  Can you keep it at school?  In the car?  Do you absolutely need to carry it around with you?  If not, take it out of the bag.  Your shoulders will thank you.  I really like this article with tips for how to STOP bringing everything home with you.  Teacher burnout isn’t pretty.  Neither is a chiropractic bill.  Ditch the bag.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go empty my TARDIS purse.

IDK. My BFF Rose.

Several years ago, I was part of a school that used 4-Sight testing in Math and Reading classes.  The 4-Sight was a standardized test that we used  several times a year to predict how our students would do on the state test measure student growth.  It was standard math multiple choice questions and open ended response questions.

The Math teachers had to grade the students’ open ended responses.  I was alarmed at the amount of my students who just wrote IDK in the response area.  Really???  You wrote IDK on a test???  You couldn’t at least write “I don’t know”?

I don't know....
I don’t know….

Since I had nice, long 90 minute classes, I was able to spend the beginning of each period (bellringer, ATB, Do Now, Warm up, whatever) doing an open ended response question.  I taught my students how to pick apart these questions and how to create a response.  I taught them how to write something for an open response, even if it’s wrong.  Even if it’s just restating the given information. Any response is better than “IDK” written across the page.

So this brings me to today.  I just read an article from Edudemic on different ways to say “I don’t know”. Huzzah!  Someone else out there feels my pain!  The author provides different ways for a student to say they are confused in a manner that doesn’t immediately shut down the dialogue.  Check it out here. Also included is a nice poster to steal use for inspiration.

P.S. – In case you were wondering, the best ever response from a student was as follows.  The question was: “Juan wants to measure the flagpole.  Given the information he has, how can Juan solve this problem?”  One of my students (grumble) wrote “Juan needs to learn to solve his own problems.”


Sigh.  Can’t win them all, I suppose.