back to school

FB_teacherI know I shouldn’t play favorites, but “Unpacked” has a special place in my heart. It’s such a fun page to work on and, if I do say so myself, a really cool concept. How do the items in your bag speak to your profession, personality, and passion? (At the moment, I have a copy of Real Simple, my toddler’s fire truck, and a bag of jelly beans in my purse—you can draw your own conclusions.)

The fact that our subjects get so involved in the “Unpacked” process also makes it a lot of fun. Perhaps it’s because we touch all their stuff, but by the end of the shoot, it always feels like the subjects are old friends.

unpacked_iphonepixSince we launched the redesigned magazine in late 2012, we’ve been hankering to feature an elementary school teacher. “Imagine all the crayons and glue sticks!” I said to Maria. Brieanna Samples-Wright, CAS/MAT ’12, a kindergarten teacher at Stanton Elementary School in D.C. was game for letting us rummage through her floral tote.

upacked_D14_407_001In order to accommodate Brie’s school schedule, we did the shoot in her classroom, which turned out to be a blessing. (We have to get on our hands and knees for this one, and the colorful rug provided some extra padding.) I knew I wanted the background to look like an elementary school bulletin board and Maria got the dimensions just right (after five issues, we’ve perfected the process). I loved all the color and texture in Brie’s items; she’s a cheery, devoted teacher and that enthusiasm for education and her students shines through in her objects.

What’s in your bag? If you want to give our readers a peek inside, email magazine@american.edu.