Submitted by Carol Cantrell, North Carolina

Idea posted January 11, 2002

I taught on the stage here for about eight years. What a tour THAT was. But, I did get some experience...

  1. Have the maintenance (mechanical) people install some big screw "eyes" - two per curtain - with an appropriate length of heavy cord and those fasteners like you see at the ends of theatre "ropes" that have the slide-back hook thingie. Pull the curtains back up against the walls when you are having class.
  2. Have shelving installed in the closet for that part of your stuff which is not used daily (books, whatever).
  3. Insist that you be provided rolling carts for everything that you DO use daily, so it can all be rolled in and out of the closet. This is HUGE, and stay after them until they give it to you (at my school, I was able to literally scrounge carts here and there). Arrange it so kids from your last class each day can roll stuff back into the closet. Train them for it, and let them do it.
  4. Do you use chairs? If so, train EACH class to get them out and put them away. Give an award for the best speed and so forth. The reason for training EACH class to do this is, in my experience, periodically the administration or P.T.A. will come waltzing in with an astonished look on their faces and say, "Didn't you KNOW? We're having a program RIGHT NOW!!" And you will need to be off the stage in five minutes or less.

Looking back on those years, they were in some ways difficult, but it was a LOT better than going from room to room on a cart. Keep thinking of ways to make it more convenient and comfortable, and make demands!!!

Of course, you may have missed your first opportunity for getting goodies - I am proud to say that for ONE TIME IN MY LIFE, I had the presence of mind to start making "demands" the instant the principal brought up the concept of teaching on the stage. I was friendly, nice, matter-of-fact, and persistent - looking him straight in the eye is extremely important!