Organization Goals for Teachers
By Susan Good
Being organized is a skill that is necessary for anyone who wishes to be successful. It can be especially important for teachers, who need to stay organized in order to keep up with their work.
TeachHub.com notes that organized teachers are more efficient and effective in the classroom. They spend less time looking for materials or getting distracted, and they can focus on teaching the material. Being organized also makes it easier to keep track of student progress and prepare lessons ahead of time.
Westminster Technologies shares some tips for educators on ways to get and stay organized in their classrooms.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Having a goal in mind is nice, but setting that goal down on paper in the form of a contract with yourself means you are far more likely to stick to it. Your students likely had to sign a rulebook at the start of the year that outlined your expectations of them for the coming year. Create a rulebook for yourself, too, but instead of a book, list all your organizational goals on one sheet or calendar to help keep you on track. Place it somewhere you’ll see it every day. And that right there can be your very first organizational goal!
Rewards Work for Your Students and You!
You already know how well the reward system works in your classroom. Now use that same principle for yourself and your organizational goals. Designate a reward for each mini-goal achieved by your specified deadline. It has to be something really enticing: you will only give yourself when you reach your goal. Choose a tangible award that you can visualize, like a piggy bank with savings for a vacation or even just a dinner out at some place really nice.
When You’re Drowning in Paper
Teachers, more than any other professional, are expected to work with paper over digitized documents, and it’s easy to become buried in it all even before the first break in the fall. File folders in file cabinets are great, but when you’re already doing ten things at once in the middle of the day, stopping to file something away properly is impossible, so it accumulates on your desk. Instead, get color-coded plastic storage or book bins. As you collect paper throughout the day, toss it in its assigned bin. Then later, when you’ve got time, you can file it away properly.
Scan and digitize as much as possible to cut down on the amount of paper you have to keep track of. Instead of using several files, you may want to try a PDF conversion tool to convert a file like Word to create a new PDF. Then it’s possible to select the page you need and create a new modified PDF. This way, all the records you need are in one place.
Let Technology Help You
Take advantage of Google Drive to help you store documents in the cloud so you can access them from any device. Besides being efficient and portable, it’s free! And with Google Classroom, when a student completes work, it gets saved automatically to their Google Classroom class folders in their Google Drive.
Remind makes it easy for you to communicate with your students and their parents in real-time outside of the classroom. You can make class announcements, initiate group chats, or contact people privately through the app.
Class Dojo is a classroom behavior management reward system. Students receive +1 or-1 behavior points, and each student has an avatar of a little monster that makes it fun for them.
Being organized helps reduce stress. Reducing clutter by having fewer things on your desks or shelves can create a sense of calm and empowerment, something that can be achieved by digitizing your paperwork. It can also leave you time to focus on the job at hand instead of trying to put your hand on something you cannot find.