By Ed Carter
As an educator, finding ways to stay organized in the classroom is always going to be a challenge. After all, when you’re continually keeping up with dozens of individuals each day, things can get out of alignment easily.
Today on the Dignity of Children® blog, we offer quick tips for new and experienced teachers on how to stay organized to reduce stress in today’s hectic academic environment.
Turn your papers into online files.
We all have paperwork, records, and receipts. Instead of trying to keep up with these (we know they’ll get shoved under your desk calendar) you can use your phone to scan papers and then save them as a PDF that you can combine into a single file by year. Also, make use of an online guide; this will show you how to add a page to your PDF, as well as how to delete, rotate, and reorder so that you can stay organized in your digital world.
Utilize text messaging.
Don’t freak out, we understand if you do not want your students’ parents to have your personal telephone number. But, if you haven’t heard of it already, now’s the time to look into Remind. This app is geared towards educators and around 86% of your peers that use it experience time savings. Plus, you don’t have to give out your personal phone number, and you can note hours when you are available and when you are not.
Color coding is one of the easiest ways to keep your individual classes separated. When you continually rotate the students in your classroom, plan to use colored milk crates to keep your and their personal supplies separate from other classes. Milk Crates Direct offers lots of other innovative ways that you can use milk crates at home or in the classroom.
Dismiss students in alphabetical order.
When you have trouble keeping up with people’s papers, consider using their day's assignments as their ticket out the door and then having them leave in alphabetical order.
Work with other teachers so that students only have one binder.
The more children have to keep up with, the more likely they are to leave things in your classroom and then rush back looking for what they’ve lost at the end of the day. Consider partnering with other teachers (or talking to your administrator) about having students bring multi-subject binders to schools so that they only have one paper trail to keep up with when they change classes. You can use this advice from Classroom to help your students organize their binders.
Checklists are amazing in that they can be customized for everything and restarted each day so that you have a clean slate each morning. You can download and print a checklist template and choose from multiple styles and based on whichever software you plan to use to customize your checklist. You can even use a checklist to monitor the progress of each child under your care and to benchmark which lesson plans are working and which are not helping your students meet their goals.
Utilize a smart home hub in the classroom.
We may think of our Amazon, Apple, or Google devices as something we can only use at home to listen to music while we cook dinner. But, these are great timers for the classroom and can even help you and your students get ready for each part of your day. You can set daily reminders on these to give you a five-minute warning between class changes. You can also ask for ambient music without ever leaving your desk.
Being organized is never easy as an educator. However, there are ways that you can keep yourself together each day. From using PDFs to store scanned files to turning on your smart home hub, the above tips are just a few ideas to get you going.
Dignity of Children® brings educators to gather to unite for a common goal. Contact us today at (646) 639-7711 to join the community of forward-thinking educators.