My name is Isabel Pinto de Oliveira, I am 57 years old, and I have been a teacher of History and Geography of Portugal and Portuguese for a long, long time. That’s why my kit is so much more like a traveling suitcase on wheels than a first aid box.

A big suitcase, where I can fit books, a pencil case, and my personalized calendar (every year I make one, covered with photos from the previous summer, those flashes of light and several congratulations). These are the basics. Which are not enough…

A self-respecting teacher’s kit must have lots of pockets. One full of patience, the other with a hand full of scolding, which is also needed. A lot of smiles and hugs (in the 5th year they come full of cuddles, in the 6th they are already “very grown up”). Another pocket of masks – how difficult is it to have enthusiasm for the same content for three decades?

In the years of being class director (almost all) the kit comes with an extra pocket to hear sad stories, of have a heart for the lost kids, eyes for legislation that changes, changes, changes… and fingers for the phone, reports for various commissions, meeting acts…

In all, also comes the throat spray based on natural oils, as my throat is fragile, as well as a painkiller for the evil migraine that comes to visit from time to time. And the water bottle, the reusable type, as the disposable plastic ones have been abolished here for a long time, or the flask of tea, always with a lot of ginger and cinnamon and good little floating things.

In the last two school years, and since this suitcase is no longer enough, once or twice a week the kit smells like fresh food or like the kitchen pantry. I have created a food education project called À Mesa. Now, with a beautiful small space to operate, it is always necessary to carry some little things, food or accessories, in order to carry out the day.

Thus, the teacher’s kit is a world. Opening up worlds is all that matters.

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