Organization- a crucial skill for an educator

I’m exhausted from coming back after Spring Break (went to California so there’s a 3-hour-jet-lag and then the time changed!!!), but I wanted to write something. I could complain about being tired and always feeling too busy to post anything, but instead I’ll share a few thoughts about planning and organizination and organizing planning!

Planning for me takes way too much time. I guess first-year you’re coming up with a lot of lesson plans, activities, and ideas, and I could use them next year. I also have a textbook from 1998 that I really don’t like, and we did order a new one so even though it’ll be different I know that will cut down on planning demands. (They have much more comprehensive supplementary materials and it’s not old and confusing).

If I really focus and do my planning in large chunks, I can get it done earlier in the afternoon/early evening and not feel like that’s all I do. Grading is still a changing variable. So the first step is trying to organize planning into 2 or 3 small segments (maybe one right after teaching, one 1 1/2 hour chunk in the early evening, and one during a prep or free period?). This is something I aim to do (when I focus solely on planning and don’t get distracted it does go quickly and is somewhat enjoyable).

Organization is also very important in readiness and preparedness. I find that I can end up with tons and tons of papers and handouts. I need to do a better job of recycling and organizing. If you start of by making an extra copy and a “key” for some sheets and promptly file it away into a binder, you’re already ahead of me! I suggest to anyone who is not that organized to try this, or to pencil in 30 minutes in your schedule to organize notebooks, your office, etc…very important. And you must have a system for keeping handouts/graded papers/papers to grade in order. I’ll admit I’m still working on this (unfortunately I’m not terribly organized in my outside-of-school life). But I’m getting there.

It’s not just materials that need organizing- it’s also the little side things like make-up work, rewards, and that other administration stuff (emails, blablabla). And of course lesson-organizing is a whole other subject.

Organization is something teachers preach to students, and it goes both ways!