With the start of every school year comes the inevitable feeling of being overwhelmed. As the semester progresses, you might find yourself misplacing important items in the cluttered mess of papers, worksheets, and to-do lists on your desk. Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks on how to be an organized teacher all year long.
Use a Planner
Everyone knows that to-do lists help us remember what we need to finish – but having a to-do list on your desk, another on your computer, and another in your gradebook? That’s when things get dicey. A planner can be extremely helpful when it comes to keeping all due dates, deadlines, and lists in one place.
As a teacher, it’s important that you’re able to stay on top of your own deadlines before expecting your students to stay on top of theirs. Not only can you use a planner for work related deadlines, but you can also use it for personal events. Rather than having two separate planners or calendars for work and your personal life, have everything in one place to keep from losing your to-do lists and schedules.
Create a Filing System
Keeping track of papers can get hectic, especially as you get farther into the school year. A filing cabinet or even colored binders for your worksheets, test copies, templates, and more can reduce the amount of clutter on your desk and gives everything a home. Once you choose a filing system, try having a separate folder for each day of the month. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have all your papers for the month in one stack but separating them out by day makes your month seem less stressful.
Give students responsibilities
Your students should have a say in how things are run in the classroom. That isn’t to say that they should have free reign of the classroom — remember, you are the teacher here. But students who have a say in how the class is organized are more likely to make sure the classroom stays that way. An easy way to give your students a say is to implement leadership roles. Leadership roles create the opportunity for students to be more responsible in the classroom and take some weight off your shoulders.
It’s no surprise that an unorganized teacher makes for an unorganized classroom. When you feel unorganized and overwhelmed, your students are more likely to feel the same way. Being organized, whether it’s with the tips in this blog or by developing your own system, is ultimately the best way to feel less stressed as the year progresses. When you’re better able to find what you need, you can spend more time being present with your class and less time worrying.