Teachers seem to know the secret to success when it comes to just about everything – budgeting, learning to read, basic math skills – truly the building blocks for a successful life. But for one topic in particular, teachers could literally write the book on it, and it would be an instant best-seller. And that would be a “how to” on getting and staying organized.
Organization is an area that can be so overwhelming for people that there are entire businesses created around the task, to lend a hand to those who are struggling to tackle getting organized on their own, or even swoop in for a complete take-over for those who’ve become completely inundated and thus surrendered to the often overwhelming chore.
When it comes to the classroom though, teachers are the true pros. They’ve known since the dawn of the profession that being organized can make or break time spent in the classroom, for the students as well as teachers themselves.
Get – and Stay – Organized in the Classroom
Have no fear – there is good news for teachers who are just getting started on their journey, or for those who may be looking for some fine-tuning. The resources are truly endless, but here are some of the top methods to stay organized as a teacher:
- Create a plan (and a plan for your plan)
Planning is truly the secret sauce in your recipe for success in the classroom. Take into consideration not just lesson planning, but also details such as class parties, holidays, birthdays, seating arrangements, parent-teacher communications, and meetings, as well as student periods such as gym and recess that take place outside your classroom.
And don’t forget to incorporate planning periods for yourself, so you can create the all-important plans that will help keep your classroom running as smoothly and as stress-free as possible.
- Everything in its spot
You’ve heard the phrase, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” This mentality can work wonders in a classroom where there are many moving parts, literally and figuratively.
As a rule, when all the items that live in your classroom have been assigned a “home,” then they will be more easily accessible for everyone, and far more likely that they are returned to that home when no longer in use. This system will ensure organization is maintained and thus, chaos less is likely to ensue.
- Labels matter
This is one instance where being labeled is a good thing! We’re talking about the peel-and-stick variety here, of course. Ask any teacher about her best friends, and she’s sure to tell you they include a label maker and permanent marker.
Once every item has been properly labeled – from storage bins and their corresponding lids, to which scissors are for the art station and which belong at the teacher’s desk – it creates a foolproof system for supporting the “everything in its place” mantra (see number 2 above).
- A picture says a thousand words
In this case, using pictures to signify where classroom items belong is both fun and practical, especially if students haven’t yet learned to read. Placing a picture on a wall or shelf lets kids know immediately how to find what they’re looking for and where to place it in return when finished.
The same concept works for color-coding systems, too. Consider the books you may have in your classroom: perhaps all nature books have a green sticker on the spine, whereas action might be blue and mystery could be purple. This way, items of “like-kind” can easily stay grouped together and organized.
Learn More About Organization Tips for Teachers
Despite, or maybe because of, all that teachers already have on their to-do lists, organization is an investment in time and effort that can pay dividends when it comes to keeping busy teachers on track each day. With the right planning and preparation, it can even carry you through the weeks and months to come all throughout the school year.
At Raymond Geddes, we’re here to help educators achieve their classroom goals, including how to stay organized as a teacher. Our free teaching resources are available for downloadables and activities that can be used in the classroom as well. Contact us today or request a school supply catalog and learn more about the supplies and resources from Raymond Geddes.
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