Monday, June 24, 2013

Top 25 & Optimum Organization Linky!

To start, I just happened to be looking at my blogger stats today and I noticed that I was getting referred by a site called Top Master's in Education.  Which was interesting, so I clicked over to see what it was saying about my little bloggy home and discovered that I was one of their Top 25 Middle School Blogs!  Hooray!

(Although, I always figure that there's so few middle school blogs that they needed me to round out that 25!)

Kidding aside, it's always a nice honor.  So, hi to anyone that meandered over from Top Master's in Education!

Moving on to the Optimum Organization Linky!  I meant to link this up last week and just was too lazy, so here it is now.

During the school year, I have to keep my teaching bag organized.  Five years ago, I was lucky to start carpooling with three other teachers from campus.  (Gas was at 4.20 a gallon in So Cal at the time!)  Carpooling has been one of the best things about teaching - you get to vent and work out in problems in a 25 minute car ride each day.  Sometimes we have to gossip "Just for carpool." Now at my school, most teachers know that if they want something done they simply go to one of the members of carpool.  (I've signed off on a school-wide email with: Questions?  Go find a carpooler.  No names and they all know who we are.)  Plus, sometimes we stop and get Starbucks.  Life always seems a little better with some Starbucks, am I right?

But, with carpooling comes certain restrictions.  There are four of us - we can't really get a ton of stuff into the cars.

Also, my house is "on the way" carpool usually swings up to my house and I jump into the car every morning.  One of us (and not even me!) is usually a little late, so I am literally jumping into the car and we are ZOOMing off.  I don't have time to lug tons of stuff with me into this madness, so I have my organized teacher's bag!

This is my 31 Teacher bag and I LOVE it!  It has a ton of pockets for my assorted stuff (pens, charger cords) and enough room to hold all my teaching essentials.

Here's a tour:

First, my side pockets...

Love the elastic!  Next, here's what I have inside and how I organize it.

My laptop fits neatly into the front, outside of the plastic box I have in there.  Next comes my Teacher Binder, binder down for a neater fit.  After that I have three colored file holders.  

During the school year, I sort what papers I am grading into period groups into those folders.  It helps because I can work on a "chunk" at a time AND when I get back to work, I can grab my Period 1/2 kids graded papers and toss them all into my organizer for "go back" work.  

That is my "inner" box - it's just a standard file box.  I think this one came from Office Depot.  I had to go to a few stores with my bag to test the height of the file box to see if it was fitting to what I envisioned.  I've read a few posts that people have used file boxes from the Container Store?  We don't have one in our area (the horror!) so Office Depot it was!

Another 31 bag to hold miscellaneous junk!

I like this bag because I can store Teacher Books (hello Foldables by Dinah Zike!) and everything just fits!

Having an organized bag is important - if I can't fit it in the bag, then should I really be taking it home? I remember the days of those big black rolling carts...  I only use those for when I move my classroom now.  (Apparently, yearly.  Hmph!)

The only thing that gives me fits is our Teacher's Editions for our Language Arts and Social Studies books.  They are huge and HEAVY, so I get to hold them when I head home.

Do you have an organized system for coming to and from work?


  1. I am a Thirty-One Independent Consultant and I use the same bag for my school bag. I just started using it at the end of last school year and I LOVE it! All the pockets are wonderful!

    1. It really is the best bag for carrying all my school stuff!

  2. Love your bag! And congratulations on the Top 25 award, you deserve it:).

  3. I used to use that bag with a plastic file box inside, but I didn't like that it didn't zip close. So I splurged on the Cindy tote :)

    Fifth in the Middle

  4. Congrats on being listed as a Top 25 blog!! I have so many Thirty-One bags and LOVE them! I take a different one everyday it seems. But I do love the hard plastic file holder inside so the files won't spill over! Going to have to do that!
    Ramblings of a fifth and sixth grade teacher....

    1. I can see how you can be addicted to 31 bags! :) The patterns are so cute!

  5. Great post! I used to lug home too much stuff and ended up missing the most important things to do because they were mixed in with everything else. I have a cute pocketbook that I chose because it would let me bring home 1-2 things and as for teacher's editions, I use the digital version only. No heavy books to carry! :)

  6. Congrats on the Top 25 award! I love your bag. I have a 31 bag just like it, but I don't have the file bin to help keep things organized. I need to do that! I love your story of your carpooling buddies. Makes me wish that I carpooled :) Thanks for linking up with us!


    Fun in Room 4B

  7. So glad I saw this -- I've been debating on what bag to buy to replace my ragged Vera Bradley tote that I've been using for student teaching. I really like it but it's so expensive that I don't want to replace it if I can find something better. I'm going to check out some 31 bags now!



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