teachin' school

teaching tip 12. organization is key.


i will readily admit that i am type A. it’s just always been in me to be a planner. organization helps me feel safe and secure as dumb as that sounds. and it can do that for you too. i keep a big binder with tabs with all my stuff. (remember, i teach high school though. i’m sure an elementary school teacher will have MUCH more around the room.)

here’s a couple of things in that binder that keep me on track:

  • lesson planning – you just gotta do it. most districts require it anyway. even if you get off, a lesson plan can tell you where you’re headed and help you stay on track. it also is a great way to reflect. leave a space on your plans themselves to write notes about what worked and what didn’t or attach them on post-its to the plans so you know in the future what to change. we use an online program. so i print out my plans by the week, write notes throughout the weeks and add in my reflections later.
  • seating arrangements – even if you change them often, keep seating charts. it’s good for a sub or administrator. i use cut up post-it notes with the kids’ names on them so that i can change them when i want to.
  • sub folder – keep emergency plans and information sheets just in case. you never know what’s going to happen. (i’ll do a post just on substitutes soon)
  • classroom management and discipline – documentation is super helpful when parents or administrators come asking questions. keep track of detentions and other consequences, conversations with students, and discussions with coaches, parents, and administrators.
  • gradebook – yes, we do most of this online now, but it’s helpful to keep a paper copy around. whether it’s a printout of your digital gradebook or a couple copies of an old paper gradebook page. you can take a quick grade and then put it online later.

some other organizational things…a calendar (digital or paper), numbered desks for seating chart, labeled turn in trays, labeled sections on the white board, a calendar of assignments and trays for papers for absent students, class notebook that contains everything the kids, etc.

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