Being Organized - Pt 1

Nancy Anderson
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For those of you who are just entering the teaching career field, here are some organization tips that have been compiled from other teachers in the field that can help you to start off your career on the right foot.


One of the key elements that is often discussed by seasoned teachers, is the importance of saving time, with a key focus on getting and staying organized. Many teachers state that one of the biggest time wasters is trying to locate a needed item, like a lesson plan, tool, or report.


Take a few moments each day and pay attention to instances that waste time, if you notice a pattern of time loss in certain areas, work to better organize that area. Maybe even keep a little note pad handy, and take some simple notes throughout the week of areas that need the attention.


Organization is a big step to saving time. If you have your materials in a well organized state, you will not waste time digging to find things, and will save time and frustration. Take a look at your current "system" and see what needs patched, rearranged, or just plain removed. As time goes by and you gather more and more materials and resources, it is important to "clean house" periodically and get rid of materials you have not used for a few years. Over time, you can accumulate more resources that you have intentions of using, but never do. Getting rid of excess clutter will help to keep the active material more organized.


Set up a system to keep things separated, such as having separate to-do, to-file, to-read, etc. type bins, so you know where you stand, and what is on your plate that still needs accomplished. As often as possible, stay on top of the to-file bin to be sure it does not get out of hand. I know for me, I can get through a to-do bin easily, but then I lay things to the side thinking I will file the stuff later, and later comes, and goes, and the to-file bin becomes a monster of a task. Get yourself a good filing system, whether it be file cabinets or even one of the newer paperless scan/file systems. Having things filed in an easy to understand organized system is of course paramount to easily locate material in the future.


Keeping yourself better organized is a top priority too. Some kind of day-planner is a great idea for keeping track of all to-do items. Nowadays, you can have electronic planners right in your phone, with you at all times, so use the resources you have. Whether it is a book planner, or electronic one, use it, and fill it with as many things as you can. Don't let a bad memory be the reason things slip through the cracks. Jot it down, remember it, and do it.


Organize your grading/student roll system better to save time also. Most school roll books have line numbers on them. Assign each student their line number, and tell them to remember to put that number in the top corner of all assignments they submit to you. When you have taken up the assignments, either assign someone to put them in numerical order, or quickly do so yourself. It will greatly speed up the logging of grades, rather than causing you to jump around looking for each student on the book. Of course if you have a computerized or electronic brand of roll/grade keeping, this can be tweaked to apply in that format if you set your mind to it.


In future posts we will look at a few more organizational and time saving tips, but start now to get your system set up to use your time more efficiently.



Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, mail order book store manager, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Education Jobsite blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.


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