Multiple tasks at a time? Have you experienced a major fallback? Then, how do you get back on track? Oh, very well, clutter and chaos may come when we least expect them. Nonetheless, at some point in our life as educators, we come to a crossroads where we need to choose which from all the choices to do first? A to-do list is quite helpful, but the question is still – How to become an organized teacher?
As teachers, we are navigating through rough waters more often times than not. We are generally busy. This is somewhat tedious and exhausting, but for me, as a teacher, it’s just a matter of setting priorities and applying strong organizational skills. There is a reason for happenings and there is a solution for everything.
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The Busy Professionals
Notably, teachers are among the busiest persons on earth because they are amazing agents of change. It begins with crafting lesson plans, preparing colorful and interactive learning materials, maintaining physical space in the classroom, attending meetings, and seminars to planning home visits. All these rolled into one is under the nose of an amazing teacher.
To all teachers out there, let’s shout out loud: Hurray! We are blessed for we are busy educators! We have the quest of cultivating the young to transform them into better humans. Isn’t it very fulfilling?
Well, well, fellow educators, our work is never done. Absolutely! Because sometimes I would ask, “ Is there nothing more hectic than this?”. Who among you here shares the same sentiments? Are your plates filled with lots of paperwork and other stuff? Incredibly, it seems that everything is happening all at once. Anyway, our strong embrace of the teaching profession should be supported by our strong will to expand our personal and professional goals.
Before all is lost, as busy educators, let’s maximize our time by inhaling productive and practical tips for us to become more productive and effective.
10 Best Ways of How to Become an Organized Teacher
1. Plan the basics
Keep the plan of getting organized in every way. Save time for tomorrow because not an hour will add up to our regular routines. This is quite overwhelming for an effective teacher but I’m very sure that you will not take away your utmost efficacy in the classroom.
Nothing can beat a planned activity. Planning ahead can save us a lot of our precious time without overlooking some of the memorable moments in class. On my end, before I go home after class, I make sure that the classroom is ready and well-organized for the next day.
In your years in the teaching profession, perhaps you have developed sound organizational methods that will make your daily routines in school smooth sailing. Take me as an example. When I enter the classroom, I am very certain about what to do first.
I have my own calendar to keep track of important dates and activities. I know the operations very well because I am sincere with what I’m doing. Everything on my desk is readily available. As a result, there is much time for classroom instruction.
Despite personal strife, a teacher can maintain the basic classroom essentials by careful planning and advance preparation. The thought of it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Make a checklist of what needs to be done. Motivation is not a problem because I’m pretty sure we are highly motivated professionals. So, never ask how to get motivated to keep things organized.
2. Don’t get so overwhelmed
Getting overwhelmed sometimes is just alright. However, losing your balance because you are overwhelmed all the time is unacceptable. As you see, we are in the teaching profession. We are always in the mood for work. We are in a routine every day but it’s not a reason to do things half-baked.
With my busy schedule, whether personal and work-related, I keep my pace and make sure that everything is in its place. I have my priorities and I set out with them all the time. I am pleased to tell you that this is a big help in keeping our mission at heart – giving out quality education to the young to maximize their potentials and to change their lives for the better.
3. Organize schedules and mind deadlines
Don’t you know that spending a minute organizing your workloads will make you earn an hour? Keep schedules where you can directly see them. As for me, my timetable should be on my desk. Moreover, I spend time reading my schedule again and again. Don’t just memorize deadlines and schedules, you should write them for future reference. Yes, put it in writing and we teachers are good at this, I know.
My schedule is reflected clearly in my to-do list. It’s a way of keeping up to date. I should remember my schedule all the time or else everything will turn out rocky and rough. I get the help of technology and I have my schedule on my cell phone or laptop. Google Calendar, as an example, is of great help in keeping track of my schedule.
Back up everything and get going smoothly. Conversely, I always leave room for flexibility for there are competencies that really take time to teach and learn. Just remember that no matter what, still, quality should always go beyond quantity.
For example, my class schedules and tasks in between should be organized. This is so important especially during the first few weeks of the school year. I should know what needs to be done first. I hate the last minute and cramming. I don’t like doing things haphazardly that will sacrifice the efficacy of the teaching-learning process.
4. Enhance classroom management
Classroom management is one of the never-ending roles of a teacher. It isn’t new to us for it has been part of our daily routines. Navigate your classroom with much efficacy through a variety of techniques that you know. Of course, you can’t expect that everything is in order all the time but at least the organization is there. It will bring you closer to your goal.
My strong management skills will less likely give me a disorderly classroom. What do you think? Keeping classroom tasks in order will keep me on track. Through classroom management, the transfer of learning is made possible.
Inside the classroom, I expect to have students who are attentive and productive. Yes, this is ultimately my expectation because I am confident that I am maximizing my efforts to keep organized. There might be those who are really challenging and are struggling; however, they should not get in the way to keep organized. As the manager in the classroom, ultimately, you should know what to do in those situations.
Similarly, in this way, the teaching-learning process will be given much attention as expected. If things are in order and well-planned, my students are expected to cooperate and engaged; thus, I am confident that the competencies set for the day are delivered. It is mainly one of the contributory factors for a productive learning environment. Believe me! This is just a matter of sincerity and ability.
5. Respect the time of others
Keep in mind that others have priorities too. In a school setting, everyone is in a busy world. To bring positive results every day, be mindful of the time of others. Remember, you are not alone in the teaching industry. You have your school principal, your co-teachers, and the whole school admin and staff.
See? Everything is not about you in school. There are people around. If your time schedule for a specific class is up, then you have to wrap up and move to another class.
Be on time. If you take responsibility for your work, then being on time whether in attending classes or meetings. This is a simple act of respecting others. Moreover, this act will help you finish your daily work as planned.
6. Never procrastinate
If possible, never postpone your plan, especially important tasks. If you scheduled the checking of students’ portfolios and assignments TODAY, then do it NOW. It is part of having good habits. Always remember that tasks are coming every day in the classroom.
Overlapping tasks will create messy days. Never impede learning because you have postponed a planned activity or a decision. I tell you. If you are doing this, you will expect crazy days beating deadlines in the future.
Stick to the school calendar. This is what I’m doing in particular. The activities are already set for the school year, right? So, you have ample time to make your plans and always involve your learners. When the card day is approaching, then that should be. That’s the general timetable and there’s no way of postponing it on your part while others continue as scheduled.
I avoid potential negative outcomes because I do stick to my organizational tasks. Definitely, overlapping tasks and schedules because of being unsystematic, stress me out. I don’t want to be a victim of such a culprit. I don’t waste time for I know it is of the essence especially in the teaching profession.
The discomfort of losing opportunities will affect the whole class. So, to avoid frustrations I make sure that I am teaching thoroughly. Consequently, I don’t undermine my performance as well as the productivity of my students. The more organized I get, the more hours I have for doing my job. I don’t like getting too much to be done in too little time.
7. Always plan ahead
I do have a workspace at home where I can prepare what I need in my classes. I hate last-minute scenarios because it will give me grinding worry and it causes stress. Regularly, I store learning materials and school supplies so it would be very easy for me to create wonderful manipulatives for my students. It is just a matter of creativity and will.
A well-organized teacher always plans ahead. I always consider the possible consequences of happenings. Therefore, wonderful alternatives should always be made ready for the rescue portion because we never expect perfection all the way.
Based on my experience, thematic lessons are more effective if advanced preparations are made. This is not only about preparing your most comprehensive lesson plans but also the making of your best learning materials.
At least, everything I need is in my home office so I get ready the next day. Labeled storage boxes help me a lot so I can readily pull items I want. Worksheets are organized in folders by grading period with matching labels of competencies.
Furthermore, with years of experience in the teaching field, packing your things the night before with the needed learning materials is a big help. I arrange all the materials and supplies accordingly so it would be easy for me to locate them. Remember, looking for something you need eats a portion of your time.
8. Recycle good quality learning materials
With the advent of technology, PowerPoint presentations and other multimedia teaching materials are readily available. However, there are instances that our learners crave for what is authentic and tangible. They love what is colorful and bright. In my case, I recycle activity sheets for future use. I keep them in an organizer by competency and by grading period. It is just a matter of serious keeping and labeling.
My charts, maps, and other visual materials are stored well. I can pull them out whenever the need arises. But it doesn’t mean I won’t be modifying anything. Of course, I always believe that learning materials should cater to the needs of the students in order to have productive outcomes. Through recycling learning materials, we can actually contribute to a sustainable world. Besides, schools of today reinforce the value of recycling.
9. Ask organizational tips from seasoned teachers
In the teaching profession, it is never awkward to ask for help. It won’t make you feel ineffective. When I was a newbie in the teaching profession, with my inquisitive nature, I easily learned how to handle things. I seriously applied the tips I learned from the veterans of the teaching life starting from the classroom setup to lesson delivery.
Although organizational strategies may vary from one teacher to another, we can actually discover new things along the way and choose the best strategy that gives us confidence. Let’s just accept it, what works in one classroom setting may not be applicable in another. Pretty well, we are teachers. We always find the best ways if things fall through the cracks.
10. Maintain your organizational system
Once you feel comfortable with the organizational system that it gives you positive results, then keep it up. Maintain your setup to have your class activities and daily routines run smoothly and efficiently. Don’t you notice that lacking an organizational system creates chaos and causes frustrations?
With a deep realization as a teacher, I believe that being organized is an integral part of the teaching profession. Isn’t it amazing that students learn at their best as a result of being systematic and organized? We are moving forward to our goals. For the new teachers, being organized may take time but if this has been part of your habit, then things will fall into place as expected.
Are you experiencing stress with paperwork as a teacher? Then, keep being organized and have a successful teaching experience. Always remember that being organized is not only about having a seating arrangement for your students; it’s about the whole teaching scenario. Always stay on top of the learning instruction.
Now, my question is, do you know where to start?