Eeek! The school year is in full swing, and if you’re anything like most teachers each week seems to be busier than the last. Do you have any “tried and true” tips that make you the classroom organizer at your school? Take a look at what some of SimpleK12’s Teacher Learning Community members do keep their classrooms organized…
1. Early Morning Jump Start
Start every day with a quick 5-10 minute regroup. Do you have everything you need to start the day off right? Jot down a short list of daily necessities and keep it handy to help jog your memory and ensure you don’t leave anything out.
2. Don’t Put Off to Tomorrow What You Can Do RIGHT NOW
If there is a quick task you can get out of the way immediately, do it! Procrastination is no friend to the busy educator. The quicker you can check items off your to do list, the better!
3. Keep Track of Your Time
Ahhh… where does the time go? Really, find out! Spend a few days doing exactly as you normally would during the day, except take the time to jot down how many minutes you spend on each activity. Looking back on your notes, you may find that you’re spending way more time than you realized taking attendance, answering emails, or grading assignments. Once you figure out a problem area, you can focus in on finding a specific solution to help you manage your time more effectively.
4. The Cloud is Your Friend
Good ol’ paper and pencil is great… until you lose your notepad! While there’s nothing wrong with sticky notes and spiral notebooks, you might try some mobile apps that offer free cloud-based storage. This means that no matter where you go, you’ll have access to all of your notes and materials anywhere you have access to the internet (via your smartphone, tablet, or computer). Check our Wunderlist for quick lists, Evernote for more detailed note-taking, and Google Drive for full documents like PDFs, PPTs, spreadsheets and more.
5. Everything in It’s Right Place
Assign every object a home in your classroom. There are a plethora of objects you might find gathering dust around your attic or basement that could serve as extra containers in your classroom – vases, boxes, cookie jars, suitcases – get creative! Your personal items, classroom paperwork, students’ work, technology – assign it all a specific place to “live”, and make sure your students know how to put things back where they go as well.
6. Reduce Clutter
Spend a dedicated amount of time each week reducing clutter in your classroom. Don’t need it? Toss it! Even 15 minutes a week removing unnecessary clutter from your classroom can help tremendously when trying to stay organized.
7. Take a Minute and a Deep Breath
Does a pile of paperwork or overflowing inbox stressing you out? You’re only one person, give yourself a break! While this may seem contradictory to tip #2, sometimes a quick break is necessary in order to stay sane and keep functioning at full capacity. So the next time you feel your head spinning, take a deep breath (or ten) and relax for a minute. We’ve all been there, and it’s going to be OK.
8. Last Minute Wrap Up
Similar to starting your day with a quick “jump start”, close out your day with 5-10 minutes of reflection and preparation for tomorrow. You’ll love the feeling of going home for the day knowing that everything for tomorrow is set and ready.
Well there you have it – hope you learned something new from our Community members about staying organized and keeping your classroom nice a tidy! Try out one or two of these tips this week, and report back on how they went by leaving us a comment on this post.