In my first year of teaching, finding ways and methods to staying organized almost killed me. Since then, I have mastered (or at least I think I have) certain organizational problems I once had. These solutions are working for me fantastically so far and I am hoping that in sharing these ideas, I can help make other teacher’s lives just that much easier. I have not found the most perfect solutions to all my organizational issues, and there are some that I am nowhere close in reaching an answer to. However, the ideas listed below are the ones that are working thus far and I hope they continue to do so or somehow they are the foundation to what I need in getting to that superior solution to all my organizational dreams and wishes.
So here we go…
Last September, I tried using the planner the school gave me – I did not like the format. From October until January, I tried using a binder, storing current unit plans, lesson plans, and everything else I could jam into it – it did not work for me at all. I just felt continually stressed out seeing papers falling out of everywhere. What I came up with that worked for me from January onwards? A neatly-bound planner that was colourful and organized…
No loose papers, no heavy binders to lug around. Just my planner – everything else stayed at home. I had a file folder that I carried to and from school with the day’s worksheets that needed to be photocopied or for things later to use that week.
Knowing this is what worked best for me last year, I decided to give it another go and make myself a new & improved planner for my new teaching position this year. The result, something I am even more proud of and now offering on my new Teachers Pay Teachers account! Get it here.
Filing Away Assessments
As a way of keeping records of my students’ work, I keep all assessments that I have them do that go towards their report card marks. I have all of my students names on file folders in my filing cabinet. Within these file folders, I have simply just folded a piece of paper and labelled either Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4 on it. Depending on which quarter we are in, I will take my students’ summative assessments and put them in their folder, within one of the pieces of paper with the appropriately labelled quarter. This makes it easy in case of parent-teacher interviews if parents have questions regarding marks, I can simply just go over to their child’s file folder and pull all their assessments from the desired quarter. This makes it much more simpler, plus I have their work on record and in my hands in order to cover myself if parents have any questions with marks or how their child is doing in my classroom. Simple, yet effective.
Keeping Track of Photocopies
I like to try and keep myself a week ahead in my planning (difficult for a teacher, but I work my butt off to see to it!). With my preps during the week and mornings I come in early, I try to plan what my Monday to Friday will look like and then I go ahead and make any photocopies I will need for those days. To avoid having piles of paperwork around my desk area, I have simply just used sticker labels, writing on them the days of the week, and I have stuck them on plastic file boxes. I have them sitting right beside my desk, so I can simply just lean over, grab the stack of papers I need, and then proceed with my teaching. Another simple solution that has made the world of difference in keeping myself organized!