Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fifty-seven Freebies to Help You Organize Your School Paperwork

According to the old joke, the three best reasons to teach are June, July, and August. Although parts of these three months can be more relaxed than the other months when we spend so much time at school or thinking about school, summer is a great time to reflect, to look ahead to the upcoming year, and to plan.

One of the most important traits that great teachers share is that they are very organized. It is just impossible to teach in chaos--whether that chaos is caused by students or by an unprepared teacher. There are simply too many things that we need to do all at once for teachers to be successfully unorganized.

In addition, being well-organized is an important way to be a role model for students. It's simply not fair to ask students to keep their notebooks straight, their desks neat, and to show up with the necessary materials if we have piles of folders and papers scattered all over the classroom.

Being an organized teacher also means that we are less likely to run out of handouts or other materials needed for class. When we are organized, we can be on top of the things that we need to do so that we can focus on our students and their needs instead of having to look for a missing book or pen or set of notes.

There are as many ways to organize our professional lives as there are teachers. What works for one classroom teacher will not necessarily work for another. The key is to find a workable system to manage all of the various components of the day and tweak it until it works for you.

One way that I have found to keep much of my school organized is to use a large three-ring binder as my catch-all Professional Binder. In this binder, I store the documents that I need often: student rosters, contact information, contact logs, hall passes, discipline records, lesson plans, and other useful information.

If you would like to consider a similar organization plan for yourself, I have posted fifty-seven documents that are ones that I use during the school year. You can access them by clicking on the "Professional Binder" page at my website: www.juliagthompson.com. Many of these forms are ones that I have already published in my books, The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide and Discipline Survival Guide for the Secondary Teacher,  but here you will find an electronic version that you can adjust for your own use. 

Feel free to download and print the forms that you need to make your own professional life easier, less chaotic, and more organized. If the forms you find at my website can help you be the kind of teacher you want to be, I will be glad!

Just go to www.juliagthompson.com and click on the "Professional Binder" page at www.juliagthompson.com.

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