The process of returning textbooks at the end of the semester or teaching year involves several steps. They include:
The collection of the textbooks from students;
The checking of book numbers against the students names;
The creation of a list of missing books with the names of students responsible for those books.
Informing these students of the need to return books either personally or by email.
Doing a stocktake.
Checking to see if books lost return4refund during the year turn up in the stocktake.
During the stocktake, separating out books in need of repair and books too damaged to be used again and disgorged.
Determining how many new textbooks that needs to be purchased for next year.
Let me now explain how we went about the whole process.
Because the students need their textbooks to study before the final assessment task or examination, the textbooks were handed in either on the way into the examination room or during the last period with their teacher.
If the class teacher was to collect the books during the last period, the teacher would gather the books and mark off on the class list those that were returned and create a list of the names of students still to return their books. Then the teacher would arrange for the lists and the books to be delivered to the teacher aide in the book storage room.
For those students going into an examination, their books would be piled n class groups at the door of the examination room as they entered to do the examination. The class teacher would then check the books marking off those returned and making a list of students who had not returned their books.
Once the books of each year level were collected the teacher aide would stocktake those books using the computer file marking off names as she goes. She would check to see if any of the “unreturned” or “lost” books was within the stocktake. Then she would create a list of missing books and students’ names for the head of department plus a note of the “supposed” lost books that turned up in the stocktake. (The students who have lost books turn up are informed.) The list of missing books is updated regularly.
Badly damaged books were noted as well with the possibility that the student would be asked to pay for a replacement book.
During this stocktake, the books are placed in numeral order to allow ease of checking numbers.
When the students were returning their books, they were told where to return their book if they forgot to bring at the appropriate time.
As the students were no longer at school following the examinations, a pro forma letter was sent to each family regarding the missing textbook asking for its return or for the payment for a replacement book. Often, the book is returned by a sibling or friend early in the new teaching year.
Because not all each year level finished the school year at the same time, the process takes place over a month. This makes the process less frenzied than the issuing of textbooks at the beginning of the teaching year. It also allows the head of department to use younger students to return their older siblings’ missing textbooks.
Once all the returning of books is completed, those that need repairing are separated. The badly damaged ones are discarded. The repair process takes place under the direction of the teacher aide who has help from some of the younger students still at school.
Students leaving during the school year are asked to return the books to their class teacher who would make the book off the class list and return it to the teacher aide. Sometimes, these students level unexpectedly without returning their book. A letter is sent asking for its return or a payment to replace the book.
Some issues do arise to add difficulties to the process. They include:
Students claiming they have returned the book. They can meet with the teacher aide to check to see if their number is there.
A student having a book that is not the one given to them. They are asked to return it telling their teacher about the situation. Often, their book has been returned by someone else. Thus their name will not be on the defaulters’ list.
If a student pays for a lost book and t eventually turns up, a full refund is sent.
Once the damage books are repaired, a final stocktake will inform the head of department of any shortfall this is in each group of textbooks allowing him/her to budget for purchase of replacement books.
Using this process, our loss/damaged rate was usually less than 5%. Most books, if well looked after, lasted for at least three years. The repaired books were always the last ones issued if needed. They were more likely to be issued to students who lost a book or damaged the book they were given.
Our author, a secondary teacher of over forty years, often advised many trainee and new teachers especially during his years as head of Mathematics department. He has written many books on teaching at the chalk face. These are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. He has also written books on his two passions, Australian Football and Public Speaking.