Monday, June 16, 2014

Time to get Organized!

As a teacher we have so many pieces of paper to keep organized that it sometimes seems so overwhelming!  We have lesson plans, tests, quizzes, daily homework, memos from the office, seating charts and hundreds of other pieces of paper.  If, like me, you have a family on top of that, it can seem more than overwhelming, it just seem insurmountable!  However, if you have a plan and a system, you can tackle it with ease!

Step One:  Figure what organization strategy works best for you.  Are you the type who does better using binders with dividers, page protectors and a three-hole puncher?    Binders are the option that I choose!  I have multiple binders.  Usually a teacher one ( as well as separate binders for the lesson plans, homework assignments and other documents that go along with each unit that I teach.  I have some awesome binders for teachers available here.)
Secondary Teacher Binder 2014-2015

TPT Sellers Binder
(I use the binder  on the left to keep my classroom organized and I use the binder on the right to keep track of all my TeachersPay Teachers documents!)

Some find it much easier to keep a file box with hanging folders and manila folders. If this is you, Target has some great options.  I use some of these to keep in the back of my room for students to pick up extra copies of assignments/notes.  This allows me to hold them accountable for what they missed, make it available and most importantly, it saves me time not having to dig through my files every time a student is absent!

You could also choose to do something like this:

Whatever your organizational method is, make sure that it is one that you can follow through with!  If the method isn't something that comes easily, you will abandon it within a few days to a couple of weeks!

Step Two:  Set an organization routine.  Are you the type who needs to file stuff away daily so that it doesn't get lost, mixed up or forgotten about?  Is it easier for you to put your important papers in a folder and then organize weekly or biweekly?  For me, I work best if I put papers in a file folder and than organize them into a binder each afternoon or the next morning before the next set starts!

Step Three:  Stick with it!  One of the things I learned from a course I took a long time ago (the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) is that it takes 21 days for something to become a routine.  After a few weeks it will become such a part of your daily/weekly routine that you will just naturally start to do it and continue it with ease!

Organization has seriously saved me multiple times.  My binders have allowed me to show parents when things were assigned, graded and due.  My binders have helped me to keep track of important memos from administration, keep up on my PD hours for renewing my certificate and many other routine requirements.  Most of all, they have helped me know that I can go home at night to my family and not have to worry about where I put something or if I have a copy of it!

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