We often offer suggestions for those with desk jobs, so we thought we’d shake things up a bit by offering some helpful content for those we spend more time standing next to a desk – teachers! It seems that everyone, especially everyone in education, could use a little extra time in each day. Staying organized means better time management – so while there isn’t a way to make those days longer (yet!), we can at least get more accomplished in the time that we do have.
Teacher recommended and approved tips for staying organized and saving time:
– Categorize your paperwork by dividing it into these categories: To Do, To File, To Read, To Save, To Share
– Organize a free bin in the teacher’s lounge, a great place to share your “to share” materials.
– Use colored folders to organize your files. Divide into categories such as student information, lesson plans, curriculum ideas, tests/quizzes, handouts, forms, substitute information etc.
– Throw out unused materials. Choose a day each year to rid your classroom of old paperwork and documents. A good rule to follow – If you haven’t looked at something in a year – add it to your recycling
– At the beginning of the year, assign each student a number and instruct them to put their numbers (along with their names) on all of their papers. When you collect papers, ask a student organize them in numerical order. This will smooth the grading process.
– When students are busy, take roll using a seating chart instead of roll call.
– If you encounter a lot of daily interruptions, hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door while teaching or ask your administration for help with lowering outside interruptions.
– Before you dismiss students, have them look around their desks and pick up any trash, papers, or items on the floor.
Save time with daily folders. Label five folders (Monday – Friday). At the end of each day, place your next day’s lesson plans, handouts and other materials in the next day’s folder. Now you’ll be ready to roll at the start of each day!
– Keep a daily and weekly list of the “small” things that you need to accomplish in 15 minute intervals. Tackle them when you have a little free time, in between classes or between after school activities. These can include: brainstorming bulletin board ideas, printing out lesson plans/worksheets, grading quizzes, outlining lesson plans, emails.
– If you feel overwhelmed, set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes and start. You’ll be amazed by how much you can get done!
Use the internet to your advantage
– Set up a class blog and update it with useful information, handouts, resources etc. Make sure parents know about it, too. It will require an initial set up time, but will more than likely save you many minutes in the future.
– Check out this amazing set of free online tools for teachers.