Bag of tricks

At a recent seminar about substitute teaching, the presenter told us about “goodie bags” that guest teachers might want to carry on assignments. The suggested contents list was five pages long and included ideas from the pragmatic (a first aid kit, a ream of copy paper, Scotch tape) to the whimsical (a stuffed animal, a random object that can serve as a writing prompt, raffle tickets). I like the idea and started to build my own, and I’ve also adapted the concept for my home care job.

In my guest teacher bag:

  1. Mini first aid kit
  2. A few pairs of vinyl gloves (just in case someone gets a nosebleed or throws up)
  3. Set of dry-erase markers
  4. Set of overhead markers
  5. Box of colored chalk
  6. Mounting putty
  7. Scotch tape
  8. Pack of construction paper
  9. Rattle (I love Earthbound Trading Company)
  10. Ocarina (small South American clay flute that also makes a decent whistle)
  11. Koosh ball (toss it to a random student, then have him or her toss it to someone else, instead of calling on the same four people all the time)
  12. Rotation of books (picture books, books of weird facts, etc.)
  13. Small stuffed dolphin. In elementary classes, he becomes the mascot for the day.
  14. Table Talk card game (see my Games Without Frontiers post for a description)

Before cold and flu season starts in earnest, I’ll add Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. When I first started tutoring, I got pinkeye for the first time in more than 20 years, and last year I swear I picked up every respiratory infection that went around.

In my home care bag:

  1. Box of vinyl gloves
  2. Small container of dog biscuits (I have a few clients who have dogs)
  3. Rotation of books with funny or beautiful photographs
  4. Drawing pad
  5. Box of 96 crayons
  6. Stressballs
  7. Deck of cards
  8.  Uno game
  9. Checkerboard
  10. Other games and puzzles
  11. Modeling clay
  12. If I’m seeing a female client, I bring nail polish in case she wants her nails done.


Filed under Caregiving, Teaching

2 responses to “Bag of tricks

  1. Papizilla

    A smart idea for a travelling teaching bag, but doesn’t the school supply some of those items? Or am I stuck in the 80’s with my thinking? Actually check that, with all of the stuff we had to buy for our daughters class, they probably don’t.

    • Schools generally provide many of those items, but I’ve had both dry-erase and overhead markers punk out on me before. Also, most of the schools I’ve taught in that still have chalkboards have only white chalk. The colored chalk costs the same and is more interesting.

      As for disinfecting wipes and sanitizer, you can never have too much of both!

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