Today I am going to share how I am going to TRY to stay organized this year. This one is going to be wordy. I apologize!!! Each year this has been a very bad struggle of mine. I start off fine, but a month in I have piles of paper on my desk and struggle to find essentials. It’s borderline embarrassing… hopefully I am not the only one with this problem. Each teacher workday I get caught up and vow that I am going to 1)keep my desk clean and 2) keep up with grading. Thanks to Pinterest (which is basically my drug of choice) I have been able to search for various ways to organize. I think I have found a system that will work for me, and if you are having trouble, I hope it can work for you too!
With this picture I was introduced to Jenn over at Beyond the Grades. Click to see her version! I loved this idea. Usually I have a million manila folders labeled with different things and I DIG for them when I need them. Why do that when you can have the essentials in just ONE binder? That’s my kind of organizing. Simple and practical. Here is how mine turned out:
I ended up putting a pencil pouch in mine because I am weird with what should be written in pencil/pen or blue/black ink. So I am going to have each in there along with highlighters, white out and whatever else I need. Basically, I want ALL the essentials with me whenever I need them.
In this tab, I am going to keep our district calendar for reminders of half days, days off, important testing days, etc. Also, our principal sends monthly calendars just for our school to keep us in the loop, I will print them and place them here along with my planner the school provides so I can stay on top of everything.
Important Info: School bell schedules, duty info, your roster and transportation list all handy in one spot! Student Data: We have parents fill out a form to inform us of allergies, bus lists, addresses, phone numbers etc. I used to put these in individual manila folders. Why? I don’t know… Everyone else was so I copied – Haha! It makes much more sense to always have them handy just in case! NO MORE DIGGING! I also have heavy-duty (plastic lined) loose leaf paper for notes that I need to take. We must record everything if we are having problems so this is a good place to jot things down and always have them handy for the principal/mom/dad/counselor. I totally recommend shelling out a dollar more for the plastic lining that already comes on the paper. If you are going to use this often, the pages will begin to rip. Yes, you can buy the little white circles to protect them but this is so much easier and wont take away your time trying to repair important pages.
We also must jot down notes from every parent meeting. Simple notes will do such as “8/27/12 – Met with John’s dad to discuss reading level.” I failed epically at this last year. It is just so hard for me to remember sometimes! I am going to be very strict on myself this year because it is going to be very important when we need to fill out paper work on a student. My PLC tab will be for CIC notes we share or anything I feel needs to be jotted down that isn’t directly related to our lesson plans.
I used to directly input my grades into my grade book but I would always mess up! I hated putting white out in my grade book… it killed me. I am going to take a tip from the teachers I work closely with and put them on record paper first. I only had a Christmas themed one and decided I wanted something more fun so I made my own personalized one and also made one for each of the Kinder teachers I work with. I love them! I am currently trying to figure out how to make an editable PDF file so I can share it with everyone and they just have to type in their own name or whatever they want . Hopefully I figure it out.
My last two tabs… pretty obvious!
I will be using this to help with the clutter on my desk. I am going to hang it on the wall next to my desk and empty it DAILY! I need to stop letting piles build up and freaking out Friday because there is so little time to finish it all. I don’t know about any of you, but all of us Kinder teachers go home so late. I want to try and put an end to that this year. I have a fantasy that if I am more organized I will finish sooner and get to spend more time at home with my husband and actually be able to relax to mentally get ready for the next day! Only time will tell if that comes true or not. I totally recommend making one of these binders. To help out, I am giving you my description pages. They are pretty plain, but one less thing for you to type up and do if you want to create one. I printed mine on some teaching stationary I had to spice it up a bit, that is why there are no borders in my file. I hope you guys can use them! Grab them HERE. Now, how do YOU plan on staying organized this year???