What's in our Bags?

What's in our Bags?

Published on October 23 2017
Posted by: Keat and Kyle
Segment: tips
A couple of you have been wondering what we carry in our bags that we take to work. Well, we are here to help you with that. So we both work in the public school system here in Japan, though the schools we work at are just a bit different. Kyle works at two elementary schools and two junior high schools. While I work at one junior high school that I go to everyday. So we are are going to be talking about the differences that go into each of our bags, though they are both fairly similar. So let's get into each of the bags!


So I go to one school everyday of the week. So that makes things a little bit easier for me in the end. I get to leave my textbooks that I use for the classes and the worksheets that I use in my desk. So that leaves me a fair amount of room in my bag to carry the things that I need.

One of the first things that I use is a Swiss Gear backpack, and I really like this backpack (fun fact: Kyle and I both use the same model of backpack). But in what is usually used for carrying the laptop, I have put the three folders that I use daily. The one that I ALWAYS have to carry with me is the one labeled "Work" because that one has anything that I need to use at work. And it also carries my time-sheet that I need stamped everyday. Also in that pocket I carry my agenda, and I CANNOT live without my agenda.

In the middle pocket, I carry the things that help keep me entertained and things to keep track of other bits that do not go into the agenda. So I carry a red binder that is full of lined, blank paper, my TESOL notebook (or Japanese workbook and textbook if I want to work on that), and a book. Along with all this, I also carry a pencil case, a small bag with a few essentials in it, and another small bag that houses an external battery and an extra lightning phone for my phone.

The final pocket has a few odds and ends that I just throw in there as I need them. But I have a cleaning cloth in there, an extra pair of earphones, and my keys go in there after I leave the house. And that is all that I carry in my backpack. Let's go look at Kyle's.

(my JHS segment starts at 8:27)

My Elementary-only segment

I actually go to multiple schools per week (2 elementary and 2 junior high school), so my bag is pretty much ready to go any day of the week, because I don't want to take the wrong items to the wrong school (that's a whole different story).

So, what do I carry in my backpack? Quite a lot, actually. Let's start with the outside: decorative items include a squishy fox, and a pin from Tokyo SkyTree! I also carry a mini-umbrella (as it rains quite often in Japan) and a drink – usually grape juice.

In the biggest pocket, I carry the following: my laptop (for schools that allow it, or if I have downtime waiting on a train to get some work on a side project or some story), a hat (for outside activities), my daily class notebook (for notes and a daily lesson planner), Elementary Text books and Lesson books (at Junior High, to teach Special Ed classes), a blank notebook (for various uses), Japanese text/work books (to study Japanese), and a clipboard with storage (storing an electronic timer and other sheets).

My middle pocket keeps my inside shoes. Why? Because you have to have a special set of indoor shoes to go inside public buildings. Just like walking into a Japanese apartment (where you take off your shoes at the front and put on some special slippers), the same concept applies to schools. Since I didn't want to buy 4 pairs of shoes, I bought one and I bring them with me.

In my smallest pocket, I keep my pen jar/container, power charger, headache pills, flash drive for the company, (backup) tie, fidget cube, and Listerine (because you never know).

Lastly, I carry an extra comb for a quick coif if it's too windy or rainy.
(I didn't cover my wallet or cellphone, because those aren't in my bag.)

Well, that's it for our backpacks. If you have some ideas about how we can improve what we already have, or if you have questions about how/what to pack in your bag, let us know! We'd love to hear what you have in your bag (no personal details, please)!