When you first enter the world of high school English teaching, you will not completely understand the varied amount of work you will need to do to make sure that you keep up to date with your subject, meet the requirements of the programmes you teach and complete all your assessments timeously.
In order to help you to streamline the experience of working as a senior English teacher, you should organise your work space at home with some custom-made furniture. The most important of this is likely to be your bookshelf.
Design of the bookshelf
The overall bookshelf should be two metres long and 1.6 metres high. It should contain the following shelves:
- One fairly shallow shelf (fifteen to twenty centimetres high) that runs the length of the bookshelf.
This will accommodate individual piles of exam scripts. When you take in the scripts, you should immediately store them on this shelf next to each other so that classes or groups remain discreet.
- One shelf that runs the length of the whole bookshelf that is forty centimetres high.
This shelf will be high enough to accommodate piles of workbooks when you take them in for marking. Again, store the books on this shelf in separate piles per class. This way, you will be sure that you do not mix the books between classes. You can even implement a system that you only take books from one end of the shelf to mark. When you have finished a class, you put it at the other end and move all the other classes up accordingly until you have finished all the classes.
- Two shelves that are thirty centimetres high and one metre wide.
The shelves should contain dividers so that they are set up to resemble pigeonholes. This section of the bookshelf should have a backing, so that nothing can fall out of each space in the 'pigeonhole' section.
Into these spaces, you should put all the types of stationery you may need for your teaching. This will include pens, which you can put into one space or divide amongst the spaces according to colour of pen. Pencils, kokis, highlighters, overhead transparency markers, whiteboard markers and pencil crayons should each have their own cubbyhole. Keep your stapler, punch, ruler/s, erasers and tape in these spaces, as well as sticky notes and paper clips.
- On the opposite side of the two metres long bookshelf from the 'pigeonhole' section, you should have two shelves that are thirty centimetres high and one metre long each.
This is where you will keep all your novels, anthologies of short stories and poems, text books and other relevant texts you will teach from, or use for reference.
- One shelf that is two metres long and forty centimetres high.
On this shelf, you will be able to keep all your files, larger workbooks and portfolios of work to use for reference.