As a teacher organization is very important to me. However, it’s not always easy. With an overflow of materials, limited space and time, and a to-do list with what seems like it has a million things on it, organization can easily get pushed aside.
However, I can confidently say that staying organized will save you time. A lot of time. Especially when the next school year comes around and you are searching for that perfect worksheet you used the year before.
It took me years to come up with a filing cabinet system that worked. My first year of teaching, I had a filing cabinet for reading and for math. That was it. As you can guess, the next year was a nightmare for me to find anything.
Every year, I tweaked it a bit. Today, after years of tweaking, I have a system that works great. It seems so logically, that I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out.
Benefits of Using this System
- When you are teaching a topic, all your materials, including to differentiate, are in one spot.
- You no longer have to ask yourself if you have already used a particular worksheet with your current students.
- Your filing cabinet stays minimalist and isn’t congested with papers that you haven’t used in years.
- This is free to do. It some time to set up, but then will save you a ton of time in the future.
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Teacher Organization: Filing Cabinet System
I have three small filing cabinets in my classroom.
The first houses all the packets and worksheets that I have printed for my students ahead of time. I do this in the summer and then store them in chronological order. That way, when September rolls around, I can pull out the first file and I have all of the copies for my students ready to go. No more last minute runs to the copier. Well, at least not as often!
The other two filing cabinets house all my math and reading masters. These are organized by standards since I teach to the standards. I also put any lower or higher level masters that fit with the standard into the appropriate standard files. This makes it really easy to differentiate without searching through a ton of enrichment or remedial materials.
In every file, I put a manila file folder (you can also get really cute ones) and label it “Have Done.” Each time I use something from my filing cabinet, I place it in the “Have Done” folder. This way, I know if I have done something with my current group of students.
At the end of the year, I quickly go through and transfer my “Have Dones” back and recycle any of the things that I didn’t use that year. This way, I am not holding on the things that I haven’t found a use for.
While it takes a little time to set up, I promise this will end up saving you a ton of time and headaches!
Do you have any teacher organization tips? Comment below!