In this week’s What’s in Your #PhysEd Bag? we explore the bag of Californian physical educator and movie buff, Will Potter.
Will Potter was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up always wanting to become a teacher and accomplished his dream in 2003. A self proclaimed Superman nerd, and movie geek he loves to brag about how many movies he watches a year. His teaching philosophy comes from his desire to spread a joy of movement, and ensures that his students understand that the game is never more important than the people you play with. With that in mind, he hosts an annual Bring Your Parents to P.E. Week event at his school. Currently, Will is the Physical Education Teacher at Serendipity School in Belmont, California
A simple, yet elegant, messenger style laptop bag with a single strap. Inside are pockets that hold and keep everything organized, neat and tidy. That is especially good considering that it is always overflowing. Note the Lego Superman keychain that specifically signifies that it is mine.
1. 365 Days of Wonder
When I first read the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio, I was floored. It is a life changing book that I continue to encourage people to read. In the book one of the characters, Mr. Browne, uses precepts as a teaching tool. Wonder’s popularity led to sequel books including 365 Days of Wonder. This book is a collection of 365 different quotes attributed to various authors. I often flip through the book to find my Quote of the Week.
Baz Luhrman wrote a song about being free to wear sunscreen, and I used to joke and make fun of his lyrics. Now that I am teaching at a school without a gym or multipurpose room, its lyrics are suddenly less funny and more true. Teaching outside everyday in California means a mostly sunny days, so I am sure to keep my sunscreen handy.
Because nobody likes athletes foot, and you never know when you’re gonna need to make a change, so I always carry an extra pair of socks.
4. Portable USB Charge Stick & Charging Cables
I would need all ten fingers and all ten toes to count the number of times my iPhone or iPad has run out of power on me. What’s worse, is that it always seems to happen right before I need to use them. After the umpteenth time, I decided to purchase this portable usb charge stick for $10. Trust me when I say it has been worth its weight in gold.
5. Power Stick
When you spend eight hours a day on your feet at work, and another two working out at the gym, myofacial release is a necessity. The “Power Stick” is the best thing for myofacial relief. Just three to five minutes rolling your calf with it, and it’s like you’re walking on brand new legs.
6. Water Bottle
I never leave home without it. I hydrate throughout the day drinking three to four bottles a day. You can tell it’s mine because of the Superman Sticker.
7. iPhone 7 Plus
I use my phone regularly when I teach. I scan plickers, shoot video, or snap photos. I recently upgraded to the 7 plus because of its size and photo quality. My phone is now so large that I rarely use my iPad in class.
8. iPad (2nd Generation)
While I may not use my iPad in class, my students still do. My anxiety about student use has subsided as my iPad has aged, and now I let them use it all the time. My students use it for various projects, such as video self assessment, creating iMovie trailers and scanning QR codes.
9. iPod Nano
This fantastic little device holds every song I could ever need for my PE classes. It fits in the palm of my hand, and it is blue tooth enabled. I can move from one end of my teaching space to the other and never worry about running back and forth to stop music.
10. Macbook Pro
I use my MacBook pro all the time to create PDF handouts, work on my website, edit photos in photoshop and write emails. I don’t know what I would do without this.
11. A movie stub
All work and no play makes Will a dull boy. Everyone needs an outlet to unwind. My outlet comes in the form of movies. I have saved every ticket stub for the last 20 plus years. Usually you can find the most recent movie stub for in my bag.
12. Printed Plan Book
Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I could easily transition my plan book into a digital format but, sometimes there is no substitute for putting pencil to paper. Four years ago, I scrapped the idea of purchasing a plan book that fit my needs. Instead, I created one. The cover of my planner is decorated with a photo and quote from my favorite Superman; Christopher Reeve. Along with daily plans, I keep my unit schedule and class rosters in this binder
13. Beats Solo 2 Wireless Headphones
Nothing helps me focus more than a little background music. Whenever I am working on a project at my desk, I slip these bad boys on and the rest of the world disappears. Its just me, my work, and the music.
14. Central Middle School Physical Education Student of the Year Award circa 1993.
This item servers as a reminder to me that I was born to become a P.E. teacher. In 8th grade, we had an award ceremony to celebrate my school’s highest achievers. As an average student with middling grades, I wasn’t expecting to receive any awards. Needless to say, when the winner of the P.E. Student of the Year was announced and it was my name, I was sure they made a mistake. Perhaps someone, somewhere knew that I was destined to become a physical Educator. I carry this with me to show my students that once upon a time, I was just like them.
15. The Note to end all Notes
A few years ago while eating dinner at a restaurant, I was tapped on the shoulder by two former students now in H.S. They were sitting in a booth nearby and wanted to say hi. We exchanged pleasantries and went back to our parties to finish our meals. When the check arrived, my waiter gave me this handwritten note instead of a check. I have kept this note with me every day to remind myself that I make a difference.
A huge thanks for Will for sharing with us what’s in his #physed bag. If you are interested in sharing what’s in your bag feel free to contact us via email.