I often see ads for large tote bags. Some of them are quite pretty and well made. Earlier this school year, I even saw an article entitled, “Best Totes for Teachers”. What they ignore, however, is the damage that can be done by repeatedly carrying heavy bags. They are often full of papers to grade, and other necessary “stuff”. The bags may not seem heavy or create a problem the first year or two of schlepping them from classroom to home and back. Over time, however, real damage can be done.
There are smarter products on the market. Rolling carts, crates or even small rolling suitcases provide the same function without the effort or danger of injury. Their prices vary, just like with the totes. The totes I saw in an article ran from $35 to $119.99. The carts I saw online cost between $22 and $76.99. In either case, I’m sure you get what you pay for. A durable bag may last years, but could cause physical problems in the future. A durable cart will also work for years, but will protect the user from muscle, tendon or bone issues later in life.
It took me years of pain to learn this lesson. Even so, I didn’t learn it by myself. I was scolded by a doctor who sternly ordered, “Don’t carry anything!” Okay, doc. I used a pull cart from Staples the last ten years of my teaching career. I should have bought one years earlier.
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