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I'm glad I don't have my own classroom

Rebecca Kilgour talks about why not having your own classroom can be a blessing in disguise.

Modern Languages Teacher, East Renfrewshire

Throughout student placements and my probationer year I have had to shepherd around all my materials, marking, jotters etc. from room to room. After reading a blog post from a fellow probationer lamenting the lack of his own classroom I decided to write a “rebuttal”!

It makes you more organised

While I agree that having a classroom of one’s own is a dream and one that I frequently find myself fantasising about, I’m still glad that I don’t have one just now.

Why? It definitely does make you more organised. You have to be! However, I have seen teachers walking from room to room with a massive box full of worksheets and textbooks to keep at hand “just in case”, so I have to admit I must not be as organised as some other people.

When you have to jump between two or three rooms in the space of one school day (including breaks and lunch), it can be pretty tough to lug a whole lot of stuff around. Solution? Spend the time to prepare. Spend your non-contact time making sure that everything is planned and organised and either have the class set up before hand or get a big box you can comfortably carry.

It helps you to build transferable skills

These are the same sorts of skills you develop when different schools have different rules on textbooks, worksheets, photocopying and smartboards.

On my first placement everything was worksheets with some textbook work peppered in. The next placement involved using only the textbook and smartboard due to a non-existent printing budget. You have to be flexible in this job. Any teacher will agree with that if they’ve had the experience of planning a show-stopping, CfE, BGE, ticks-all-the-boxes, amazing ICT lesson only to have the smartboard/projector/computer break. And then you’re stuck lecturing the pupils for the next 50 minutes, sending you all to sleep.

These are skills that are developed with time. You learn from these experiences so you don’t have the same situation again. After having the projector break on me, yes, I will have back-up worksheets prepared but on one topic, and maybe just enough for one between two. No point in printing out a whole class set if you don’t need to, right?