TEFL Mystery #6: What’s In That Bag?

banner_contact_mpb.jpgNearly every day, when I rifle through my bag for my keys, it strikes me that I carry around all sorts of weird stuff. Lots of EFL teachers do (I hope). Sure, we need pens and pencils and markers and paperclips too…maybe even the odd glue stick or board magnet. But it’s another clue that you might just work in TEFL if you carry around wads of used blue tack (what are you going to do, leave the stuff you’ve bought yourself lying around so your co-workers can take it?), a bean bag (for throwing around to learn people’s names, of course), or approximately seven hundred un-paperclipped neatly-cut scraps of paper (to aid kinaesthetic learners). At different times I’ve also had scissors, a roll of Scotch tape, a mini stapler, post-it notes and the twenty-six sided Scattegories dice in the front pouch of my backpack.

Sometimes there’s a good reason to be carrying weird stuff – Kim’s game – where you show the group a tray full of items for a limited time and they have to try and recall them – is always a big hit. There’s always the past simple question challenge, where you show your class items and they have to make questions to find out how it relates to your hypothetical last weekend (or not). But sometimes the only reason is that you have to travel from one location to another and want to have the activity or tool with you if you need it in a pinch.

Do you carry odd stuff in your bag too?