Organizational tips for my student teacher

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by swansong1, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2010

    One area that I want to help my student teacher improve is organizing his materials (and himself) to be better prepared to teach. Do any of you have suggestions that I can share with him? Thanks
     
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  3. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    Jan 24, 2010

    I could use some help with this as well. In my teacher prep / masters courses I have gathered tons of materials that I think will be useful in the future. Everything from differentiation checklists to ideas about how to teach vocab to strategies for setting up reading workshops. I also have stacks of articles, stories, etc. that would be great "supplemental" readings. For example, I just read a Virignia Woolf article on character development for a Theory of the Novel course in the English department. Excerpts from that would be great for an AP Lit or creative writing elective course. But in two years, will I remember? Where will it be?

    Right now I have a foot-high stack of folders, binders, and loose papers on my desk. It's leaning precariously close to the edge. Soon it's going to fall and then I'll be even more disorganized, if that's possible. :dizzy:
     
  4. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Companion

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    Jan 24, 2010

    When I student taught, I had a plastic file box that went with me to and from school. I had file folders in it that contained examples of student work, articles, and all the random worksheets and papers that my cooperating teacher gave me.

    After I finished student teaching, I organized things into notebooks. If I had multiple copies of something, I kept one and tossed the rest in the recycling bin. I do the same thing now with tests/worksheets/etc. I save one copy for the future. If I kept everything, I'd be drowning in paper!
     
  5. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Jan 24, 2010

    What works for me is being able to keep my papers in chronological order - I struggle with other organizational strategies even though they are designed to be more helpful.

    At least you aren't the co-op I had - she would begin putting my materials away in various places around the room as soon as I began teaching, then would write on the evaluation form that I never had my materials prepared for the lesson. I once spent twenty minutes before the lesson getting everything organized in and in the correct order, and when I turned around during the lesson to get my stuff, it was all gone, and I had no idea to where (that's one of the times she left a very negative comment about how I didn't have materials ready too). She told me she put the stuff away because she couldn't stand to have things laying out in the classroom - they were all lying on "my" table. Sadly my entire experience with her was similar to that, and my supervisor wouldn't believe me until she had to place another student there immediately after my time ended. At the end of the semester, the university told us they would never give her another student teacher again.
     
  6. Miyata210

    Miyata210 Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2010

    Wow, Toak, that sounds like an awful experience! :(

    I struggle a bit with organizing materials as well. However, for me it's a matter of organizing how students get the materials they need without being distracted by them when I need them listening (I'm interning in a science classroom). It sometimes helps me to make a quick list of materials and a quick timeline of the lesson. Then I can think about when and how to deal with the materials.

    Have you sat down with your student teacher and asked him to come up with some ideas and/or a plan on how to be better organized? He could try out his ideas, and later reflect on whether or not it's working, and continue to adjust from there.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 29, 2010

    We have been talking and he understands the need for preparation and organization. I'm thinking that his current health situation (he has ended up hospitalized due to a chronic illness) has affected his job. We are hoping for better results when he feels better and gets back to the classroom. Thanks for the input.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jan 29, 2010

    I have a "do today" basket on my desk. That basket must be empty before I leave at the end of the day.

    I have catch-all basket on my desk for everything that doesn't hit the "do today" basket. I make sure I empty the basket once a week. A lot of stuff hits the trash, some stuff gets filed.

    As far as classroom materials, the more I can get stuff into digital formats, the better I am organized. I save everything with file names beginning with the year because I can typically remember which class I used the material with in the past. 2009 Fiction Essay Guidelines. Then, I can sort by doc name and group by year. Works for me. I also invested in an external hard drive and back up my laptop from time to time.
     
  9. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Great question!

    Here are a few things that help me as a 1st year teacher but I must admit that I still get bogged down from time to time.

    1.) Have a folder (it doesn't matter what type) for each day of the week. I make sure that all of the papers I copy or books I need go into the Monday folder. I usually have 2 sets so that I can start making copies or getting things in order for the next week in advance. This is also great for those days when you may need a sub unexpectedly or are running a tad late.

    2.) Know how you work best. Personally, I like to plan at home and grade at school. I know a lot of teachers who are the exact opposite. Knowing that I'm not very efficient at planning when I'm at school, I don't even attempt this. If I have a great idea for the next week, I'll jot it down in a notebook but I don't start writing my plans. I use my planning time instead to make copies and grade papers so that I don't have to take those things home.

    3.) Copy as much as you can in advance. If you know what your spelling list is going to be for the rest of the year, why not make copies for the whole class? I realize this might not work if your copies are limited but it certainly helps me. Knowing that I have that already done is like one more thing that I can check off.

    4.) If you have a "free night" from school work, try to do some advance work. I use a spelling website to help students when we go to the computer lab and for home use. During a snow day, I loaded all of the lists for the rest of the year onto the website so that now each week I only need to go in and click 2 buttons. Similarly, I've typed up charts I'll need on the SmartBoard through the rest of the year. It's time consuming,you don't get the immediate use and of course you're sacrificing some of that "free time" but for me it brings my stress level down enormously.

    5.) Organize your worksheets, activity books, etc. I scan a lot of my Mailbox books so that I can use them later (and eventually give them to a pre-service teacher) but I keep the originals in notebooks for now. This helps me look through them more quickly and grab a single page or two rather than carry the whole book to school and risk losing it. It's a system that works for me.

    6.) I scan a lot of my documents and keep them on a drive. This includes important notes from parents, observations, certificates, etc. That way I'm never stuck trying to find them and they're not taking up room. It also makes it easy to keep things on a flashdrive in case you have a substitute. Just download everything you think they may need to the desktop and most substitutes will greatly appreciate that.

    I could go on and on but these are the things that work best for me.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Great ideas. I have copied the ideas from these threads to give him. He said to tell you all he is very appreciative.
     
  11. Hello.Mitra

    Hello.Mitra Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2010

    Although this is not the best answer to organization, Target is having a sale on their 18-quart storage bins that come in bright colors ($4.99).

    I have several of these to hold my future classroom library, make-and-takes, binders filled with "keeper" documents, and other professional development things like books, articles, and so forth.

    I also have a Wiki that holds links to things I think will help in my future career along with things I have typed up that are worth referring to.
     

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