I'm so excited to be entering my 12th year of teaching this fall. While things will look different, I am really looking forward to working with my students and the teachers at my school.
For the month of July I'm going to have a blog series dedicated to new teachers. I remember how hard I worked during my first few years of teaching and I'm going to share a few tidbits of wisdom that might help anyone who is in their first year or first few years of teaching.
This week I am going to focus on the power of a manila folder!
As simple as this may seem, a manila folder can really change the way you organize your classroom. When I first started teaching I was all about keeping everything super cute and my classroom very quickly became disorganized. My bulletin boards always looked great, but I couldn't find that test that a student took last week or I couldn't find that piece of paper on the professional development I wanted to attend. So, I created a system that I have kept to for more than half my teaching career and man was it a game changer!
Keep Your Grading Organized
I used to have papers scattered every which way and I could never find what I was looking for when I needed it. So probably about six or seven years ago I started using manila folders to keep my papers in. I put the subject on the front of the folder. For example, all my spelling papers would go in one folder and all my math papers would go in a different folder. This helped me immensely! I was able to keep track of all the papers that needed to be graded. Now I can just grab one folder and sit and grade all the math papers for the week, rather than searching through a pile of papers from every subject. I've created a fun little freebie for you all which is linked at the end of this post. There are three templates that you can print out and put on to some manila folders to help keep yourself organized. I've also included an edible version of the templates.
Keep Your Copies Organized
I struggled to keep the papers I was passing out each day organized during my first few years of teaching. So probably about eight to nine years ago I went to The Container Store and purchased an organizer that has five different slots in it. Each slot was for one day of the week. And in each slot I would have a manila folder labeled with all the classes I taught that day. For example on Mondays my first class was religion, so the first folder in that first slot was labeled religion. My second subject of the day was Math, so any papers I needed for math that day would be in that first section, in the second folder, labeled math. I tried at the end of each week to have all my copies ready for the following week and organized in my little slots and folders. This made going into Monday morning so much easier.
There are plenty of more ways to help keep your classroom organized, but these are just a few tips that I hope you find helpful. And if you want to grab the templates for the grading, just click the link below and you will find three separate styles, along with editable ones.
Happy organizing! 🙂
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