New Teacher Tip: Time Management – Organizing your Cabinet
There is so much paperwork that a teacher needs to do within a few weeks of starting a new school year. In fact, your cabinets may look as if though they have been hit by a tornado. Your cabinets are most likely overflowing with folders, teaching materials, handmade cards from students, wads of paper, pencils and other stationery, all of which seem to be appearing on their own. Remember that the bigger the mess, the more time it will take you to rummage through and find what you are looking for, which may cause you to lose precious minutes. Use these tips to keep your cabinet organized and in order:
- Create a designated place for your material. All folders should be marked and kept in one place. There should also be a separate place for personal belongings.
- Highlight all original copies of master sheets with a yellow colored highlighter, to tell you that this is the master, preventing you from giving it away or losing it.
Label all your files and folders, and mark the worksheets based on the folder that they need to go into. Once you have identified the specific folders that each worksheet goes into, you can ask a student or volunteer to help you with the filing.
- Many times there are some sessions in a year that require more material than others. If you feel that material from one session is crowding your cabinet, try putting all the relevant teaching material into one box. Remember to label it and store it in a cabinet in the classroom. You can then find all the required material ready for use when the time comes.
Every three months go through everything in your cabinet and ask these questions
Do I really need this?
- What specific purpose will I use it for?
- Should I keep it in my cabinet?
- Is this a duplicate of something that I already have?
- Is it outdated or can it come in handy even now?
- Is it relevant to my current assignment or will I only need it later?
Don’t clutter your cabinet just because you do not have the heart to throw some things away. When you discard items, put them in a carton labeled as ‘free’ and let everyone know that they can dig around to see if they can use anything. Something that you discard may be useful to someone else.