Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Getting Organized - Teachers on the Move

I don't have a classroom. I'm one of those teachers who is in a different classroom depending on which class I'm teaching and which day of the week it is. It's taken me almost two years to figure out a system for all the paperwork that is efficient and easy to manage.

My biggest fear (because it had happened) was losing papers, and my biggest inefficiency was wasting time handing out new papers and returning old ones. Toting around stuff for five classes and around 125 students was one big organizational nightmare, and my briefcase (aka "suitcase") was always in disarray despite my best efforts with file folders, labels, etc.

Here's the system I have landed on, and it works for me, so maybe it will for you, too. For each class, I have a file box with a colorful folder labeled "Turn In" at the front, and then regular green file folders with each student's name on it behind that.

Students are not allowed to hand me a paper when it's time to turn in work. They have to turn in all work to the "Turn In" folder. That way, I can't be responsible for misplacing it, everything stays in one place, and there's no chance of mixing it up with another class.

Then, when it's time for grading, I pull out the "Turn In" folder, record the grades, and place the papers to be returned immediately in each student's personal folder. I also put all handouts for the next class period (except quizzes) in their folders so I spend no time in class distributing papers.

At the beginning of each class period, students sign in, turn in work to the "Turn In" folder and retrieve their graded papers and the day's handouts. This system is organized, efficient, and I haven't lost a paper yet since I switched to this system. Knock on wood!

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