When I first started teaching shop, I was right out of school and looked as young as I felt. I didn’t know the ropes and I was as green as any newbie would be under the circumstances. I must have been in my early twenties. I hadn’t done much student teaching and everything was completely new. I had to build up my confidence while I encouraged my pupils to build theirs with new crafts. Over the years, I have matured and no longer can be mistaken for a student at first glance. I wanted to be one of them for the longest time, but also wanted to look professional. I carried my old backpack from college because I love the comfort and convenience of it. A business briefcase seems a bit much for a shop teacher, don’t you think? I never questioned my use of this collegiate bag, but I suppose that teachers can use backpacks too. Why not? My principal certainly didn’t object nor the department head. As a matter of fact, I think they both have one.
I still use one, although it was replaced years ago with a bigger and better model from Business Bag Review. I can tote whatever I need for the day so I don’t have to leave the instruction space for even a minute. Students often hang around at lunch and want to ask questions or try their hand one more time at the current trade being taught (I rotate between wood, metal, and auto shop). I can’t grab a sandwich at the school cafeteria or sit in the teacher’s lounge. I bring food from home in my bag. There is also have a mini fridge on premises where I stash my beverages of choice. I am rooted to the classroom it seems. You could say that I use a “business backpack.” It holds student papers that I grade at home, my cell phone, wallet, car keys, and a few texts and reference books. Sometimes there are workout clothes if I want to indulge in an after school game of basketball with my colleagues. If I need to look up something, I can go online, or quicker yet, grab a book. The backpack remains at my side until I go home. It is too tempting for students to peek inside if I leave it in the hallway.
I took my time when I selected a new backpack so it would suit my job and take me on short vacations. I love not having to check it in at the airport. It goes right under the seat or in the overhead compartment. My travel laptop is securely inside. A roomy and sturdy bag is essential in anyone’s life, no matter the profession. I know doctors and lawyers who tote them. I admit that it is often in addition to the perennial briefcase. The latter has its role, but to me it is limited. I have never once used one.