Tags: Academic term, Desk, Education, Lesson plan, Office supplies, Purchase order, Student, Teacher, Wal-Mart, Walmart
In order for a teacher to stay organized, everything must have a place. It is my experience that the worst place for everything is the teacher’s desk! Everyone in your school will come by and drop things on your desk, and if you are doing the same thing, you risk the chance of losing important papers. The only things you really need at your desk are confidential papers that require being locked up, a minimal amount of office supplies, your passwords, originals of documents, possibly inventory and purchase order paperwork (not lesson materials), and a few personal items to really make it feel like its yours. If you teach in the primary grades you will only have the luxury of sitting at your desk for about 1 hour each day, so don’t make your desk your command center.
Create a command center in your room for every piece of paper you will need each week. I like to use the file crates (Wal-Mart $3.47) for my lesson materials, sub tub, and volunteer tub. I have five smaller tubs from target (around $5): 2 for student lunches, 1 for student folders, 1 for office items (stapler, hole punch, pens, etc.), and 1 more for papers that need to be sent home at the end of the day or week. I also have two plastic buckets; one is for students to return library books and the other is the book hospital. There is a bulletin board above the counter where the tubs sit. This is where my content objectives are posted, my lesson plans are pinned, the lunch calendar and daily schedules are hung, and there are buckets mounted for collecting box tops, grocery store receipts, and one for whatever fundraiser we are currently holding.
Fortunately the counter and bulletin board are right by my door, so nothing ever has to get past my door without going into its “spot.” Any other papers that come into my classroom should end up in the student mailboxes, filed in my desk, on my clipboard, or in my teacher binder. My teacher binder and clipboard tend to stay at my horseshoe table.
When we are collecting paperwork at the beginning of the school year or sporadically during the school year, it all goes into a file in the volunteer tub. I have generic checksheets with the student’s names and a blank spot for writing in the title of the form. The volunteers can easily write in the name of the form using the file label and check off student names as they return the paperwork.
Here are close up pics of each section:
Other than getting your lesson plans together, I feel like this is the most important step to getting ready for the first day of school.
Hope this is helpful! If you have any questions please ask! firstname.lastname@example.org