Magazine article Arts & Activities

Five Ways to Organize for a New School Years

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Five Ways to Organize for a New School Years

Article excerpt

As educators, we start off a school year with the best of intentions for staying organized. But by about November, we quickly find our systems, energy and motivation starts to dwindle. By March, we can't even see our desk, and have about 400 e-mails in our inbox. Yikes!

Implement these simple strategies to get a head start on your organization for the new school year--before the year gets the best of you!

(1) PRE-PRINT LETTERS At my school I conduct a program called "Artist of the Month," which requires monthly paperwork. At the beginning of the year, I pre-print and color-code a general letter to be sent home each month for the artists and their families, along with the certificates students receive. I file them in a folder. When the new month comes, I simply pull the letter, fill in the blanks and send it on home. This has helped me stay very organized throughout the year.

(2) CLEAR OUT E-MAIL INBOX No one talks about it, but everyone deals with it: the dreaded e-mail inbox. We return to our desk from a busy day of teaching, only to find 35 e-mails piled up. What's a teacher to do?

Make a goal for yourself to at least clear out your e-mail inbox at the beginning of the year. Make folders in your e-mail program, and file important messages in these categories. Delete everything else. Your inbox should function as a 'To Do List" so you are sure to remember to reply to any important messages. Being a teacher is not an excuse for neglecting to reply to e-mails!

(3) LABEL SHELVES AND DRAWERS For little ones, a picture label is a great way for kids to assist you in putting things back where they belong. For yourself and older kids, word labels on shelving, cubbies and drawers will help everyone stay organized, without you having to micromanage each and every step--they can just read the label! Make sure your high-traffic areas and shelving are labeled before students walk in the door this year. …

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