Obsessive Compulsive Teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ayotte04, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I never considered myself a "neat freak" or OCD, but after student teaching I found that I need to become OCD. It is so much easier for me to sleep at night when I have all my ducks in a row, everything is copied, and organized, neat, and clean in my classroom.

    I'm in love with Rubbermaid containers (or their rip-off counterparts). For those of you who are superorganized can you give a new teacher some tips on keeping things clean and organized or other things that are big time savers?
     
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  3. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Sounds like you have already discovered an essential key...have everything organized and ready to go before going home each night (If you can, that is! :) Go easy on yourself when you can't. :angel: ) Mornings are just so unpredictable! Like I tell my kids, always have a back-up plan. :) And enlist the kids' help in clean-up. They can pick up things off the floor and straighten areas before leaving. After all, they made the mess. It teaches them responsibility, ownership, and a sense of empathy and gratitude for others. :)

    Oh, one thing that I have learned to do is to make new copies of tests, worksheets, etc. to replenish folders before putting them back in the file. Saves a lot of time preparing for the next year's class. :)
     
  4. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    Organization is essential for us "little kid teachers!" We haved literally THOUSANDS of manipulative pieces, and once they get mixed up, it's impossible.

    We also love Rubbermaid, and kids love to help clean up.
     
  5. hyperangel

    hyperangel Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I always try to clean up before I go home at night, I am kicking myself when I come in the next day and I haven't usually. Also, I try to have all of my lesson plans done at least a week in advance if possible except for a few minor tweeks. This always helps me to feel on the ball in the morning.
     
  6. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Yeah...I've found enlisting kids to pass back papers and take 3 minutes to pick up textbooks on the floor, trash, broken pencils helps a bunch.

    when you're talking about making new copies of tests are you talking about making just another master copy of the worksheet....or whole class sets?
     
  7. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    I was talking about a whole class set. :) I have a file drawer for each subject. After I have given a test, I quick run off enough copies for next year, adding a few extras for retakes or extra students. That way it is all organized and in place for the following year. And you thought you were OCD!! :D
     
  8. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Yeah...the thing is I have to find out if my school is limiting me on paper and number of copies. My student teaching site watched everyone like a hawk on how much they copied (they would track your id number). And I would like to have extras for next year, but as a secondary teacher that would mean having about 120 more copies...=(

    I'll have to see what my school policy is. Any other ideas about how best to use rubbermaid containers?
     
  9. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2007

    Use three-ring binders to organize paperwork. You can punch holes in the papers or (for the papers you want to save nicely) you can slip them in page protectors. To make copies, you do not have to take the paper out of the page protector - just put it right on the copier.
     
  10. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Great idea to use binders...that would help a lot! :)

    ayotte04, that does make it harder. Our enrollment stays pretty consistent, so that helps. I do think the paper count would still be similar, though, between HS and elementary, when you figure your say, six "classes" vs. our six "subjects" taught...does that make any sense? :)
     
  11. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Ayotte, the best thing I did as a first year teacher last year is simple but a life saver. When I had an assignment I put it in a file folder in a box by the door, organized by week assigned. Then the students would have to get their own missing papers (I timed it, I saved at least 10 mins per class not getting it myself). THis is how the folder should be organized, blank copies in the middle, notes stapled to one side *if it was a notes assignment* and when the assignemtn was no longer due, a key. *for other kinds of assignments* On the other side of the file folder you staple in a key, mark it with yellow highlighter so kids don't take it. Now if you want to use again a few years down the road, you pull it out and it is all there. Trust me it works!
     
  12. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2007


    Yes I learned this exact thing from a colleague. I didn't realize you could make a copy of something already in a page protector. thats good to know.

    i've been going wild with sheet covers and heavy duty plastic dividers. I've seen other teachers make a folder for EVERY paper they use, or others just divide things into units in those hanging folder crates. But so far, I've found the binders seem to work for me.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have a vertical file box on my desk. Each class period has its own folder and its own color. Another goes for my homeroom. Anything that is to be returned to a studnent goes into the appropriately colored folder. If he's been absent, we both know where to look for that quiz I returned yesterday or that form that was passed out in homework.
     
  14. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    I have a "Master" file which obviously contains all the master copies of papers in transparent sheet protectors. In yellow highlighter pen I write a large "M" on the front. Yellow highlighters do not show through when you photocopy. (You can write notes in the yellow and it won't show through, other colours [blue, green, pink, etc will though]). I photocopy the number I require and any extras get put behind the master. When I next come to copy I already have some done (I don't like to waste paper, I am a good recycler!).
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I pride myself on being super-organized, and it makes things run SOOO much easier in my classroom. I always know where things are, and I don't lose things. It's also easy for subs and kids to do things in my room because they can find things easily.

    By the way, OCD doesn't equal extra organized. My husband actually does have OCD, and organization is not his strong point at all.
     
  16. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    yes... thats true OCD doesn't equal super duper organized. I just wasn't sure how to categorize it. Hehe. Ima...can you give me specific examples of things you do that make a big difference?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do my best to always put things back in their homes when I'm done using them. It's hard for me in my real life at home, but I'm very good about doing it at school.

    I make sure that my desk is cleared off at the end of the day. I'd hate for a sub to come in the next day due to some sort of emergency and see a filthy, messy desk.

    I never leave food or beverages out once I'm done. That just totally grosses me out. I've seen other teachers with half-eaten donuts and cold cups of coffee on their desks for days. ICK!

    I'm going to have a binder where I keep all my student self-inventories and contact information. Behind each student sheet I'm going to file any referrals, detention slips, denial of credit forms, absence notifications...all those sorts of forms and a record of parent contact. By keeping them all in one place, I'll be able to grab them and head off to parent conferences with little hassle.

    I keep copies of commonly used forms in a stackable tray organizer on my desk. That way I'm not going in and out of my filing cabinet all the time.
     
  18. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Yes I agree with the idea bout food. The fact that you have SEEN donut and coffee sit out for that long (without it being an intentional science experiment) worries me.

    I like the fact that you're putting ALL your student info in one place. I've seen it organized , but divided separately and you're so right about having to run off to a parent conference while trying to find 3 different file folders.

    The stackable tray on your desk (so you don't dive into your file cabinet all the time) is a good idea. I was thinking of getting those mesh drawer tray setups...the ones that are stacked and can actually be set up next to the desk. They can be more expensive but I think they slide easier than some of those cheap plastic ones.
    But I understand the need to have something, right there, right now like hall passes, or detentions or whatever it is.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Just be sure to lock up your hall passes. Sometimes kids can be crafty and steal a pack when you're helping another kid and not looking at your desk.
     
  20. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2007

    wow. kids these days. Yes I will have them in a secure location that requires passing through the metal detector first and taking off your shoes and belt.

    haha...no wait....that was somewhere else....
     
  21. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Recess Box...
    A great organizational tip is to have kids put anything they need to work on during recess in a box. Have extra pencil, etc. in there just in case.
     

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