Q: I am a science teacher and there are not enough laboratories in school for me to have my own room. This means I constantly have to carry everything around with me. As a result, I am always forgetting to bring things and I'm concerned that I'm starting to look as though I don't know what I'm doing.
How can I get organised? Should I be asking the school to accommodate me better? I have just started my first job and don't want to make a fuss, but it is getting me down.
A: If you are being asked to teach science in non-specialist rooms, that will make it very difficult for you to teach well and should be a concern for your head of department, not you. However, as an NQT, you could ask for as settled a teaching space as possible, even if that meant displacing more experienced members of your department for some of the time. Discuss it with your mentor. You're not fussing, just asking for reasonable working conditions.
In the meantime, organise yourself more effectively:
* in your lesson plans, add a checklist of the equipment and resources that you will need for each lesson, and use that to remind yourself
* ask for your timetable to be rationalised, so that even if you have to teach in several different rooms, you work with the same class in the same room
* in each room you use, ask for storage space for your use. Keep what you need for the groups that you teach in there rather than carry it around.