check your bags


For almost two decades, students, parents and teachers at my school have annually collected thousands of cans and dried goods for a local Christmas food hamper program with hopes of making a real difference in our community. Student leaders orchestrate the event while teachers work with students to set class and personal contribution goals.

Food Drive


It is incredibly inspiring to witness the generosity of students and parents as they arrive early, well before the school day starts, to drop off boxes or bags of food items.

And, it is nothing to see a student reach in, passed their pencil case, binder and calculus textbook, deep into their backpack, to pull out many cans to add to the mountain of food already collected.

Fast forward to the month of May, long after another record-breaking year of items collected for food hampers, a parent and I were discussing ways to support her child in the areas of attention, organization and task completion. This mother was baffled at her child’s on-going organizational struggles. To underscore her concern, she explained how she had just recently found a can of tuna in her child’s backpack. That can of tuna was intended to be donated, along with all the others way back in December.

Fortunately, despite her well-founded concern, this mother could see the genuine humour in this situation and understood that students with significant attentional concerns often find themselves overlooking key information that the rest of us take for granted.


Seriously now, if you were carrying extra weight in your backpack for months and months, you would notice.


bag check time


You presumably take the time to occasionally go through your backpack, briefcase, purse or laptop bag to check out the usefulness of the contents especially if it is something that you carry with you daily.

With each item you pull out of the bag, you may ask, “Does this serve me or not?”  In the case of the young student, is this can of tuna going to, in any way, help me with my math or history or geography or is it just making a heavy bag even heavier?

What are you carrying in your bags?

Stay tuned to this blog for a series on common hidden beliefs that you and I may be inadvertently carrying around with us and how to determine whether it is serving us or sabotaging us.

Let’s go through our bags together and see if we can lighten things up!



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