In my younger years, I thought that being a “professional organizer” would be a great career. Through my schooling, I had a hard time working on my homework unless my things were all put away. I have definitely become less particular as I have gotten older, but I still love a good organizational system.
Here are some systems that work for me:
- Student work: I have one basket in my classroom where students turn papers in. I do not accept papers that are handed to me. They must be put in the basket. Depending on the day, I empty the basket either at the end of the block or at the end of the day. Papers then, go straight into my expandable file where they are organized by block. I also keep all of my answer keys in the expandable file. Student work stays until the expandable file until I grade it and then I keep it in file folders per class until I pass it back. (I keep up with my grading pretty well, but struggle to pass back papers in a timely manner).
- Papers for planning: I keep a folder on my desk for each class. As we go through a unit, I put any originals, notes, etc. into the folder. At the end of the chapter, I empty the folder and move those papers to a section in my filing cabinet. I then reference my filing cabinet as needed when planning in the future, though I usually only use it when I can’t find something in my Google Docs. I do also try to keep any card sorts or any other cut apart paper activities in the appropriate chapter’s hanging folder.
- Other miscellaneous papers: If it something that I will want to reference in a meeting or at some other point throughout the year (like a calendar, pacing guide, etc.), it goes into a binder that I keep on my desk. If it something that I really should keep, but probably won’t ever look at, it goes into my filing cabinet. I try really hard not to keep paper on my desk.
- Organizing Internet Links: On Twitter this summer, I read about someone who used Google Keep to organize links (I’m sorry, I don’t remember who). My husband and I have used Google Keep in the past to share lists with each other, but I didn’t know about the labeling functionality. I absolutely love it! I have made labels in order to organize the links that I pulled from my Twitter and Feedly over the summer, but I’m sure that I will add to them as the year goes on.
- Student organization: When cleaning my room at the end of the year, I found 2 different places in my classroom where students had been stashing their work that I told them not to lose. With that in mind and my general frustration with students losing important handouts and notes, I am going to try crates with student folders for the first time. There are students who have functioning organizational systems of their own and I’m not going to force them to fit into my box (literally), but I hope that many of my students can benefit.
I’m in awe of all of the Tupperware that I’ve seen in some posts already and look forward to reading more of your organizational posts!