It's seen some things. It also doubles as a pillow in dire circumstances.
I was reading Blu Chicken Ninja's 'What's In My Bag' post and I thought it looked like fun. So I went ahead and emptied out the contents of my own bag before leaving for work on a standard school day last week:
I confess that the daffodil in the glass bottle is not something I store in my bag. It's just there for aesthetic purposes.
Tazo Tea Mug: because a day without tea is most likely going to be the worst and this mug is one of the few that I own that can be trusted not to leak all over my things.
Apple: because I love apples and stereotypes of teachers who like apples. Also because our lunch period isn't until 1:10pm, so I am generally in mighty need of a snack by the time noon rolls around.
Eos Lip Balm: I am a lip balm addict. I will use this at least 15 times before the school day ends.
Pencil and Pen: I like the old fashioned, yellow school pencil. It does the job. Same goes for my plain old black Bic pen.
Moleskine: because I have a terrible memory and this is where I store my lists, schedules, and spontaneous thoughts.
Wallet: because my teacher bag is my surrogate purse.
Library Passes and Schedules: I always have a small stack of papers relating to that particular school day. They are usually sub plans, passes to the library, or my schedule for tutoring that day. This bag has a small file pocket that I can slide papers in for safe keeping.
Chocolate Bar: because you never know when you're going to need a solid bribe.
Post-its: of different colors and sizes. I won't even bother telling you what I use these for because there isn't enough time in the world to compile that list.
Multi-colored Tiny Highlighters Shaped Like Pill Capsules: this is a throwback to my days in the pharmaceutical industry. A vendor handed these out at one of their training session lunches and I think they are probably one of the more valuable things I took away from my time in the biopharma sphere.
USB: Most of my students email me their work for correction or feedback, so I store most of it on this USB for when I get small stretches of free time to sneak in some review. This keeps me from having to tote around huge binders full of work.
Books: my Robert Frost poems for short down times, my super soft leather Bible, and a textbook for my Salem State methods class. You never know when you'll get a free period :)
Overall, I'd say this is a pretty representative sampling of my bag contents on any given school day. I'm sure that when I become a real live teacher with my own classroom and classes, this teacher bag will need to prepare itself to be carrying much more in the way of binders and lesson plans, but, until then, this little buddy does the trick just fine.