By: Dr. Gregory W. Betts
I have the privilege of working and presenting with a great friend at Westside Community Schools. She is an expert in her field, an amazing presenter, and many days she can be seen walking around with three to five bags. She usually has a rolling suitcase, hand bag, satchel, lunch bag, and a tote. Her daughter has lovingly nicknamed her the “Bag Lady.” This got me pondering my own journey in education and reflecting on my teacher bag choices of past along with my peers. What is the best bag? Is it practical? Functional? What do I really need to carry? Style? Brand? Durability? The first answer to these questions lies in the heart of your role in education and for what purpose do you need a bag. Second, you will need to decide how long you will carry the bag (durability) and your level of concern with style. If can answer yes to a “recyclable bag is good enough for me” then I would encourage you to stop reading the rest of this post.
- How much school stuff do I need to take home, carry for presentations, or need for my everyday survival?
- How many pockets do I need to carry all of my cool school stuff?
- How many bags might I need?
- Is the bag easy to transport from one place to another? Maybe from my car to school, etc.
- How much do I care about “brand?”
- Do I care if I purchase a new bag every year?
- Do I need a computer compartment? These are usually padded pockets to protect your laptop / tablet of choice.
Tote – A tote bag is a large and often unfastened bag with parallel handles that emerge from the sides of its pouch.
Backback – sack carried on one’s back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders, but there can be variations. Lightweight types of backpacks are sometimes worn on only one shoulder strap.
Satchel – A satchel is a bag, often with a strap. The strap is often worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip, rather than hanging directly down from the shoulder. They are traditionally used for carrying books. The back of a satchel extends to form a flap that folds over to cover the top and fastens in the front. Unlike a briefcase, a satchel is soft-sided.
Messenger Bag – A messenger bag (also called a courier bag) is a type of sack, usually made out of some kind of cloth (natural or synthetic), that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that goes across the chest resting the bag on the lower back. While messenger bags are sometimes used by couriers, they are now also an urban fashion icon. Some types of messenger bags are called carryalls. A smaller version is often called a sling bag.
Rolling Suitcase – A suitcase is a general term for a distinguishable form of luggage. It is often a somewhat flat, rectangular-shaped bag with rounded/square corners, either metal, hard plastic or made of cloth, vinyl or leather that more or less retains its shape. It has a carrying handle on one side and is used mainly for transporting clothes and other possessions during trips. It opens on hinges like a door. Suitcases lock with keys or a combination. (A suitcase with wheels can be called a roll along or a trolley case)
Brief Case – A briefcase is a narrow hard-sided box-shaped bag or case used mainly for carrying papers and other documents and equipped with a handle. Lawyers commonly use briefcases to carry briefs to present to a court, hence the name. Businesspeople and other professionals also use briefcases to carry usually important papers, and in more recent times electronic devices such as laptop computers and tablets.
Giant handbag that can double as a work bag – For this one, you are on your own! It works well when you convince your significant other or yourself that purchasing an expensive handbag is a necessity because you need it for “work purposes.”
Personally, I have chosen a backpack that is made of black balistic nylon and is able to stand without collapsing on itself as many backpacks do. The backpack has many pockets including one for a laptop and a tablet. Finally, I am not concerned about having to replace it every year or having my valuables unprotected. Though the bag was initially expensive, it is going on three years, has protected my technology, and still looks good. Finally, I wanted a bag that I could “wear” and still have my hands free for carrying coffee, presenting materials, and be able to unlock the front door of my building. As the knight in Indiana Jones and Last Crusade says, “Choose Wisely.”
Wikipedia contributed to the definitions posted above.