What’s in your pencil case?

Recently, I asked some of my excellent friends to help with CV writing.

Teaching jobs always come with application forms, whether you’re applying or recruiting, so it’s not something I’ve thought about for nearly 20 years (back then, I still thought I might want to be a computer programmer – can you imagine?!). They advised and sent copies of theirs and introduced me to the term Thought Leadership (thank you ADP) but still, I keep coming back to the fact that I am a teacher.

I can list the roles I’ve held, list the data I’ve improved and cite the number of Ofsted inspections I’ve survived (six Section 5s and at least three HMI monitoring visits in 15 years, since you ask), but how else can I express that it’s just what I do?

I’ll start with my pencil case. The items in the image all came from my ‘school’ pencil case. It’s a small selection of what sits inside the cartoon-robot-festooned pouch of delights. Much as I love stationery and don’t always consider the eco-credentials of what I use as carefully as I should, I actually think it’s a really good analogy for me as a teacher.

I have ball-point pens in a dazzling array of colours, meaning children can choose which one we use to help them with their work. There are spare paperclips of all sizes because there is SO much paper involved in education and it needs organising. Pencils, a sharpener and rubber, for making (and correcting) as many mistakes as possible. Colourful lolly sticks because they’re great for picking teams. My own staple-remover because it’s a tool which has no equal and never lets me down (it’s named because it’s so good, it must be returned).

Then there’s the mystery item: rectangular, off-white, roughly 2cm by 5cm and flat… And who doesn’t love a mystery?!

I doubt very much that potential employers will ever ask me about my pencil case, but at least, if they look me up, they’ll find this…

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