Getting Organized… Work Edition

Last week I wrote about developing routines at home. This year I’m starting out the school year more organized than ever and after years of experience I’m hoping that my new system will (A) help me save time by not having to search for misplaced things (B) help me become more efficient.

This is my work cubicle. On the top shelf are all of my books organized by course/type. All of the Shakespeare books, writing books and grammar books are stored together.

On the actual desktop are two large baskets. One basket is for my British Literature class, the other basket is for my Freshman English class. I store the course textbooks there, along with copies and file folders for each unit. I used to use a binder to store unit plans and activity sheets. I like the file folders because they are more flexible and easier to get into and out of.

The standing magazine holder is where I store my Administrative spiral notebook which has the calendar, phone lists, etc. and my composition book where I record meeting notes and minutes, voice mail messages, etc.

To the right of that are two inboxes, one for each class. I’m planning to use this for papers to grade and papers to return. And finally to the right are more storage bins. One outbox for stuff to drop off at the main office, one for the club I sponsor, one for stuff to file and the last one for administrative stuff that doesn’t have a home yet (e.g. letters of recommendation etc.)

The white binder is my “administrative” binder where I store all of the important announcements and info for my division (aka homeroom). This is where you will find tornado drill plans, assembly schedules etc.

I plan to stay after once per week in order to make copies and write plans for the following week.

I also have a bag at work where I will keep my accordion file (to take to the two classrooms that I share in order to collect and return student work). I have a large zipper file to store copies and homeroom handouts (we usually get a classroom set of materials to pass out in our mailboxes daily).

My secret to organization this year is “everything has a place.” Highlight, italicize and bold face that “a.” The idea is that if I can keep everything in one place, I don’t have to go searching for it later. All meeting notes in one place, all student work in one place, and all curriculum materials/plans in one place? I’ll re-evaluate things over Thanksgiving vacation to see if adjustments need to be made.

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