Oh honey. It’s time for this one simple tip to organize teacher paperwork (that you’ve been waiting for your entire life-haha). I know tons of paperwork collects on your desk. Stop, look around, it’s there, isn’t it? Right? It collects, collects, and collects. I mean, Jack asked you a question while you were *planning* on putting the paper…somewhere and so it goes on your table because you don’t have time to put it anywhere else. Then the AP walks in your room and brings you a paper for data that needs to be collected on Lily and you were going to put it….somewhere and so it goes on your table.. Then Grayson forgot to give a note to you from his mom and you read it and don’t have time to do…well, anything with it *again* and so you drop it on your table. And it collects and collects and collects.
Here’s something you can do right now. Right NOW. Do not collect $200….just GO. Ok, read this first then GO. I’m not yelling, I’m not. I just feel SO passionate about the next step. You are going to put the Everyday Essentials Box (the label is from a cover in my teacher planners download–that you can customize too) on your desk for the ENTIRE day. Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be at your table/desk but on a nearby shelf would be perfect. This is a portable file box, a box you can put papers that most often come your way. This is called THE Everyday Essentials Box. Even notes from parents can go in here–if it is developmentally appropriate for kids to drop the notes in the right file. If not, notes from parents can go in a tray, mailbox, or some other fun place the kids can put them in. I also always had a small reminder board at my door where I placed notes I couldn’t forget about for that day (change in dismissal, etc.), if it was appropriate.
First step, identify 5-10 main categories of papers that come your way.
As a general education teacher with special education and talented and gifted students served in my room, I had these categories of papers that I would get:
- Parent Notes
- Content/Lesson Plans (we planned as a team so often, things might come in from other teachers)
- SPED updates/IEP/TAG
- Student information
- PTA Info/Notes
- Notes to go Home (TODAY) (also a good trick is to have someone put the papers in the cubbies/mailboxes/etc. right away–as soon as someone brings them to you–even if it is in the middle of math)
- Sub Plans
As far as Data Collecting, that’s an entirely different ballgame. (Maybe another post on that?)
Next Step: Get some dividers and label these categories. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Grab your label maker or write the categories on washi tape. I love washi tape because you can easily remove it. But maybe you don’t like your handwriting, or you just don’t like washi tape, so the label maker it is.
Then when you get something, go ahead and put it in one of the categories. Just put it in there right away. Then at the end of the day, empty the sections, put in appropriate file or binder and then close the Everyday Essentials Box and put away. Off your table. Closed Hasta manana. See you tomorrow!
You could also use small drawers. These are super cute too but if you don’t have a lot of shelf space or things tend to get buried behind your desk, this is an option because you can set out in plain sight and then put away for the next day.
Whatever you use, the most important thing is to empty the box or drawers at the end of the day. Every single day…..ok, well, maybe every other day. Either part of your afternoon routine or your morning one. With this simple tip, I hope you feel better prepared and organized to take on your day and be the most SUCCESSFUL you can be. YAY!!!
I hope you can join me at “The Playground”, a newsletter I send with exclusive freebies, tips, and inspiration. This year you’ll get earlybird access to the printed planners and all the inside scoop!
Looking to get organized with all your other paperwork? Check out the Teacher Binder Bundle!!! Remember, yearly updates on the calendars are free!