Being a teacher is not as easy it looks and requires more hours of preparation than the actual teaching hours in class. Aside from teaching, teachers also have to do the paperwork like other jobs. According to a survey of 1,500 public school teachers, 46% said they are having difficulty balancing teaching responsibilities and personal errands. Between planning lessons, handling student matters, checking papers, submitting lesson plans, and talking to parents, teachers have a lot on their plate.
As a teacher, you must learn how to stay organized not to become overwhelmed. You need this to be focused enough for teaching the students and be able to innovate learning. Modern technology and organizing techniques are beneficial. They can aid teachers in simplifying their tasks but also increase their efficiency as educators. Here are some methods and tips for teachers to stay on top of their functions.
1. Organize Paperwork and Online Documents
First off, categorize lesson plans, student information forms, and other documents in a binder and label them accordingly. Allocate a slot for random incoming documents to keep them from cluttering your area. Use a teacher planner to plan your lessons at least one week in advance.
Similarly, never forget to categorize online documents in your computer’s folder from each email. Label emails accordingly so it will be easier to look for them later. It can help if you are doing multiple projects.
If possible, minimize paperwork by going digital. Have students send assignments online or upload them in cloud storage.
2. Prioritizing Tasks
After organizing, you need to know tasks are urgent. Prioritizing minimizes the stress of numerous data and things to do. It helps you focus on the most important task without totally neglecting the others.
This technique can also help you with scheduling. Based on your priorities, you can plan how your day will be spent during the busy seasons. It can also manage expectations on the people who are affected by your output.
Prioritizing can be based on deadline, student welfare, or the impact of the output on the school’s overall business strategy.
3. Harnessing Technology
Several apps can assist teachers in being efficient and organized. Apps such as Google Drive can help you store documents in the cloud so you can access them from any device. Aside from efficiency, it is also free to use.
Trello and Slack can help you organize your tasks when doing other projects and collaborating with others. It can also help you take on tasks like growth plans, lesson plan creation, professional learning communities (PLCs), learning notes, and so much more.
Specialized apps like The Learning Journal can help you share student’s reports with their parents and guardians at home. TeacherKit can track student attendance, add behavior notes and other data.
4. Recycling High-Quality Learning Materials
In today’s technology, PowerPoint presentations are used for education. However, tangible learning materials are still great to break the monotony and excite students. They contribute to retaining information better for students. These learning materials can be visual or interactive depending on what works for that grade level and subject.
Create high-quality charts, activity sheets, and other visual aids so you can reuse them. Store them well so they can be preserved and always check if all details are still relevant. Label them as well so you can find them better when needed.
5. Enhancing Classroom Management
Classroom management is the set of strategies teachers use to solve the problem within the classroom. Starting classroom management can make your students effective even if they are left on their own. It is a result of classroom organization and student behavior expectations.
Rules and routines involve behavior and protocol when inside the room or when submitting an assignment. It creates a system for the students and helps both sides in maintaining organization. Once a routine is established, you can add another to keep the flow going. Sample routines include distribution and return of material, work collection, and noting attendance.
Your role as a teacher is a balancing act on providing for the children and doing paperwork. It can be hectic, no doubt, but that’s why there is a need to tap technology and tested techniques. The important thing is to maintain focus so you can be an effective educator to your students.