The book map! Cover images pointing to the location where the story takes place.

High school English, DIY-style

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My sister is now a 10th grade English teacher. Of all the people on the planet to end up as an English teacher, my sister is not high on the list of names I’d predict, for a few reasons:

  1. She hated school.
  2. She really hated English.
  3. She doesn’t read or write all that much.
  4. She really, really hated school.

However, there are a few reasons that I am also not surprised by this new career:

  1. When she sets a goal, she meets it.
  2. She’s one of those super annoying people who is good at everything, even on first attempts.
  3. She’s always been excellent with kids of all ages.

Now there are two of us literary types in the family. We came up with some fun ideas to decorate her classroom, including my contribution – the book map.

I would have totally geeked out over this map in high school. My book club geeked out over the idea and helped me come up with titles. It’s been an English geek fest! (For everyone except the students, anyway… they aren’t terribly impressed so far.) Unfortunately, some of the titles I’d chosen for stories in Central and South America, Canada and the Middle East didn’t print well, so there are holes in the map. Also I realized I’ve read a woeful lack of almost anything that takes place in the Orient. But these things can always be added, and suggestions are welcome!

For the other decor, my sister and mom channeled their inner Native Americans and used every last piece of the carcasses of murdered buffalo books to create window banners out of pages and a mobile out of spines. A few inspirational posters and writing guides, and the room is good to go. It’s not as decked out as some of the other teachers’, but I like its minimalism. It keeps the important things in focus – reading, writing and awesome maps!

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