15 Ways Teachers Can Get Organized For The Start Of The School Year

All teachers need an easy-to-use system to help them stay on top of endless pages of markup, verification, and work. Plan as thoroughly as you can, and if you don’t already have one, develop an organizing system. It is truly amazing how much paperwork and qualifications are required during the first year. It’s easy for a new teacher to feel overwhelmed and confused. Try to avoid these initial feelings by planning your lessons in advance as much as possible. Rely on a system that is easy to use. Consider these tips when organizing or opening your classroom for the fall semester.

Remember, being well organized and having well-prepared lessons is also important for a well-managed class.

1) Have a backup plan for the computer. Buy a flash drive, hard drive, or consider creating a Google documents account.

2) If you use a paper program, prepare everything you need to start the school year smoothly. Prepare important calendar dates; wait until your class is set to cheat students. If you are working with an electronic system, decide on the grade weights or the system of averages and set the formula in the software.

Make sure you have a storage plan.

3) Have a plan for storing brochures as a stacking / filing system and a specific location to find those stacks. Keep only one master copy of each file and recycle the bulk copies from last year. Make sure you have a copy on your computer!

4) Prepare a remedial work plan and a place that is ready for action on the first day of school. You never know when you will need it!

5) Choose a location for this year’s paperwork. If you keep an individual student file for each student, have an organizational system for each class. If you keep a separate file for each course or section, organize it by that system as well. I tried very, very, very hard to have an empty filing drawer for this year. You can at least put the papers in the filing cabinet and close the drawer, even if there is no time or maybe you need to file in folders.

6) Old photographs and newspaper clippings tend to yellow and become brittle. Laminate colorful pictures and recycle the rest. Libraries are a great place to donate unwanted textbooks and old readers that students no longer need.

7) For teachers of a staff teaching the same grade (s), a common file or folder can be useful to quickly and easily access work pages. Again, these need to be divided into skill sets and subjects.

Organize your own supplemental resource material. This can be a teacher’s checklist that you consult and use frequently, some uplifting words for bad days, or a list of reminders.

9) Have a folder with school policies and regulations. You especially need to know where you stand in terms of how your school handles discipline problems. Having this file easily accessible will definitely help you when faced with difficult and unforeseen situations in the classroom, which is sure to happen.

10) If you are a reading teacher, you may want to have a folder for informal reading comments while listening to your students read the first week. The electronic pretests) during the first weeks of school are especially important for getting to know your students.

11) Have letter folders ready to send home the first or second day to parents. You can consider a separate drawer with different letter folders.

12) Keep a folder with the necessary brochures for any new students who may arrive a week or a month later. There is nothing worse than running around the room looking for important brochures for a new student!

13) If applicable, post a list of buses. Keep an additional copy in your folder.

14) Make sure you have a posted lunch and physical education schedule. This is VERY important to students. Again, keep a master copy in your folder.

15) Have a folder with blank journal templates for the first day of school. Younger students can write a letter to their parents telling them all the things they learned that day. Older children can write a list of goals stating their intentions for a good school year. Save extra folders of blank seat charts, blank papers, and other templates.

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