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Organisational tips (esp. from teachers!) :)

(63 Posts)
PamplemousseRouge Mon 24-Oct-16 11:58:21

Hi everyone,

I've just started training as a languages teacher in a secondary school.

I've been looking into lots of different organisational systems, routines and techniques (both for home and for school).

As I'm on half term at the moment, I thought it would be a good opportunity to really get an organisational system going and to stick to it.

In terms of home routines, I've found that batch cooking on a weekend, and freezing these meals to eat during the week, is very helpful. Only started this weekend, but do intend to stick to it smile

I've found things like the Eisenhower matrix really useful (a grid where you prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency), as well as having folders organised in my school cupboard to keep everything in one place.

I've also seen this website called 'The Together Teacher', which has really useful tips (and a good system for sorting out things like loose papers.)

Any other tips from anyone about home and work organisation (would be very grateful to hear from teachers and non-teachers!) would be really appreciated!

Thank you everyone smile

PamplemousseRouge Mon 24-Oct-16 12:05:21

Anyone? smile

Astro55 Mon 24-Oct-16 12:08:08

Get a big note book - write down messages - in the back keep reminders of good students work for reports

Set up email folders

Set up a calendar on laptop or phone

Write things down straight away

cardibach Mon 24-Oct-16 12:13:41

Work load as a teacher tends to be unpredictable and not controlled by you, so systems don't work that well, I'm afraid. I tried writing down 5 tasks I was to complete each day for a while and it helped control stres about jobs but was ultimately unsustainable. You just have to prioritise each day, I think.
Batch cooking is a lovely idea, but it will mean that the only day you have to do things with your family will be taken up by cooking. It's better to research some quick recipes you can do fresh each day and make them in double quantities if you really want stuff in the freezer.
Sorry to sound negative. (Secondary English teacher for 27 years).

CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 24-Oct-16 12:21:44

Colour code each class and have that colour as the folder for their stuff, on your timetable etc.

Yes to email folders.

Have one planner only and put everything in that.

Yes to batch cooking.

"together teacher" is ok but requires quite a lot of making yourself sit down and plan and reflect on top of the gazillion things you also have to do.

CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 24-Oct-16 12:27:39

Also if you can, email stuff to be photocopied to the reprographics person. Saves a trip.

Carry a notebook round with you in school - you will forget the student you need to follow up or the message from reception.

Forward plan in your planner. So if you need to double check something in 2 weeks' time, write yourself a note in your planner straight away on a day 2 weeks' hence.

If you have 2 classes doing an assessment, mark the first assessment in the lesson when you're taking the second assessment.

Have a "shredding" folder and put in it any sheets mentioning students' names etc and confidential information. Then you can shred it all in one go when it's full.

Take a glass and a bottle of cooled water into work. It's nice drinking out a glass and not a polystyrene cup.

Trifleorbust Mon 24-Oct-16 12:35:43

Marking schedule - know when your assessments are and how long you have to mark them.
Keep a list of things you have to do in a notebook.
Work from one power point or whatever you use - add to it as you go and try to plan 3-4 lessons at a time.
File your emails. Deal with email in the following order: urgent, stuff I can delete, stuff I can deal with quickly then delete/file, stuff that will take time to deal with.
Mark in lessons - circulate and give students written feedback as they work.
Keep comments short and constructive.
If you can, work early rather than late.

ThatGingerOne Mon 24-Oct-16 12:38:41

Go on pinterest and type in organisation or teacher organisation. Its like a guilty pleasure to go on there and scroll through all of the perfectly organised stuff, I love it.

Aliveinwanderland Mon 24-Oct-16 12:43:01

For cooking I found doing lots of batch cooking at once at the weekend time consuming and boring so I couldn't stick to it. Now when I am cooking I make double what I need for tea and freeze the other half of it. So I only cook 3/4 nights a week instead of 7.

As for teaching- I've tried various organisational techniques over the years and never really stuck to any! One thing I do find handy to keep track of missing homework and excuses is a red folder with one sheet per child inside. If they hand in homework on time they simply sign and date their sheet. If they haven't bought it to the correct lesson they have to write why not, and then sign. I bring them out to show parents at parents evenings!

Aliveinwanderland Mon 24-Oct-16 12:43:58

And always delete emails you don't need and file ones you do under sensible names.

Emails can quickly build and then it becomes a mammoth task to get through them or find one you need.

PamplemousseRouge Mon 24-Oct-16 12:50:00

Wow thanks everyone!

The tip about cooking double the amount I need for dinner and freezing it is a great idea - thanks! I prefer it to batch cooking actually as I don't have that much freezer space and it also means I have my weekends free of cooking crazy amounts of food! smile

I also really like the tips about carrying one notebook or planner around, and only using that.

I'd also be really interested if you have any tips for trainee teachers please? I'm doing a School Direct scheme, and would be really grateful if you have any tips about combining school with studying! smile

Iggi999 Mon 24-Oct-16 12:50:15

Bullet journals - one for home, one for school.

PamplemousseRouge Mon 24-Oct-16 12:52:53

Great tip Iggi - thanks! Someone said to me that buying a pretty journal is the best way of feeling motivated to use it and stick to it grin so I've bought a Peanuts journal for home and will use my teacher's planner for school.

Iggi999 Mon 24-Oct-16 13:04:21

There's a thread on here about using them if you catch the bump bug grin

TeacherBob Mon 24-Oct-16 13:14:53

I got myself a missus. She runs things for me.

cheeseoverchocolate Mon 24-Oct-16 13:18:37

Haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if I am repeating someone's one comments.

Instead of bringing exercise books at home to correct/mark, do so during class time. Once you have set a task for the pupils to do, go through a few books. Next time, a few more,etc. Will take a few weeks, then you will be starting again but you will have much less work to do outside of contact time.

You don't need to create new resources per se. The TES has hundreds free and ready to use. It's hard to be original when teaching MFL at KS3/4.

TeacherBob Mon 24-Oct-16 13:22:06

Instead of bringing exercise books at home to correct/mark, do so during class time. Once you have set a task for the pupils to do, go through a few books. Next time, a few more,etc. Will take a few weeks, then you will be starting again but you will have much less work to do outside of contact time.

Surely that is time to be working with the children?

cardibach Mon 24-Oct-16 13:26:11

cheese it's impossible to mark during a normal lesson! (Possible in an assessment test). Either you aren't giving the class full attention or you aren't doing the marking properly. When pupils are doing a task you need to circulate and redirect/keep focus/answer questions.

CryingShame Mon 24-Oct-16 13:32:11

We tried batch cooking before, but found that it ate up your weekends, so you're stuck at home doing 4 main meals all day Saturday. A slow cooker to cook whilst you're out in the day, or on Saturday whilst you do something more interesting, would be helpful. Also, never doubt the benefits of a jacket potato evening meal if your oven has an auto cook function and you can just come home, take it out of the oven and add cheese / salad / beans / cottage cheese / tuna etc. that takes no time.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 24-Oct-16 13:36:30

I had an A5 size page a day diary that I carried with me everywhere at school - as a pp said it meant I could write it down if someone stopped me a in corridor and asked me to do something.

I left most of the domestic stuff to my husband, to be honest. Wasn't possible to do both.

In the end though, trying to fit teaching and a life into the same 24 hours a day just didn't work. Teaching lost, in my case (did 17 years, quit this summer).

fatowl Mon 24-Oct-16 13:41:35

Yes yes to a folder for each class. I teach KS3 and have 7 groups, each has a large (expandable), labelled folder for all their stuff.

And a teachers planner - I have this one:

Mark out the dates for the whole term and so you can write in reminders on the appropriate date.

JoJoSM2 Mon 24-Oct-16 13:57:46

Whatever resources you find or make, should be nicely organised on your computer so that you can re-use them in the future easily. That will mean less prep smile

iggi999 Mon 24-Oct-16 14:04:04

I don't think you can mark books during a different class, but it is a good idea to mark work from the class in front of you as they finish a task - or carry a "good work" stamp around with you. Children like that instant feedback too.

cansu Mon 24-Oct-16 14:09:40

It is sometimes possible to mark in class but not often although I would get into habit of kids peer or self marking whenever possible.

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 14:11:56

I'm not a teacher, but have a good (I think?!?!?) system for prioritising tasks.

In the morning I write a list of jobs on a4 that "need to be done", "should be done", and "nice to get done".

Then as my shift progresses I add to the list. Anything more urgent than "needs to be done" is added to a separate sheet of paper stapled onto my sheet which is a different colour (it's usually purple for some reason). If any of my other tasks become urgent I move them to the front sheet. I cross them off as I complete them.

I also keep a cream sheet of paper that I use for notes. I staple them all together and fold into quarters so they fit in my pocket.

I also use sticky notes on my computer to remind me of electronic tasks that I need to complete.

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