You know that feeling you get when you walk into your home after being on vacation and it’s clean? That is the feeling you can have each morning after you get your classroom organized! Imagine that sigh of relief when you walk into your classroom (instead of the clenched hands at all the clutter you see floating about your room)!
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When we think about organization, of our house or our classroom, it’s a daunting thing to think about! I tend to get lost in the weeds when it comes to getting organized. That’s why, I think, so many teachers struggle to get their classroom organized.
It’s not that you can’t get your classroom organized but that there is SO much to do, many teachers don’t know where to begin.
In this post, I am sharing 6 things you can do to get your classroom organized in the middle of the year.
Get Your Classroom Organized Right Now
Organization is a long game. You can’t just decide to completely reorganize your classroom over a weekend. (I mean…you can, but if you don’t have routines to keep it organized, it’s kind of a waste.)
These first three tips are things you can do right now and see results almost instantaneously.
1. Start Small
This might sound a little “duh!” but I think it’s important to just start somewhere. Instead of thinking you have to makeover your entire classroom in one weekend, think about one small area you can organize today and do it!
The 5 Day Classroom Organization Challenge is a great way to get started. Over the course of one week, you’ll get 5 emails from me. In each email, I’ll break down a few simple action steps to organize various *small* areas of your classroom.
Here is what we’ll organize in the five day challenge:
- Teacher Desk
- Classroom Papers
- Student Materials
- Small Group Teaching Area
2. Establish a Paper Routine
The number one question I always get asked is “how do I organize my papers?”
It’s a huge task because teachers have SO many papers. The first thing you need to do is create a paper routine. I suggest starting with a student paper workflow (you can download my free guide here.)
3. Try New Routines
Classroom Organization is more than just a pretty classroom. It’s your structures, flow, and routines all seamlessly blended together.
Routines, like these Christina Decarbo shares on her blog, give you (and your students) structure. You need lots of routines for all the various tasks you do each day in your classroom. Even your students need organization routines!
If organization isn’t working for you, try switching up your routines.
Don’t wait for a new school year to try something new. Inevitably, you’ll try something new and you won’t like the way it goes the first time. That’s why anytime is a great time to try out some new routines.
Test out a new weekly routine by joining the Intentional To-Do List Workshop. In this free, thirty-minute training I walk you through how to create a to-do list that you can actually accomplish.
These next few tips will help you get your classroom organized for the future. You will start working on these things now, but might not see the success of them right away.
Keep going and don’t get discouraged! Your future self will thank you for the effort you put in (kinda like how you thank yourself when you clean the house before heading out on vacation!).
4. Start a Year at a Glance Now
I’ve talked a lot about creating a Year at a Glance (or Curriculum Map). A YAG gives you a birds-eye-view of where you are going in your year.
The great thing about a YAG is when you sit down to actually write out your daily plans, you don’t have to figure out what you are going to be teaching cause it’s already outlined for you in the YAG.
Help your next year self out by creating a YAG template now and filling it in with what you teach each week as you teach it. Then, over the summer when you update it for the new year, you will already have a good portion of the YAG created and filled out.
5. Start a New Lesson Planning Format
Lesson Planning should only take you an hour or two a week. If it is taking you longer than that, consider trying a new lesson planning format.
You can hear the lesson planning workflow I suggest here as well as see videos of me lesson planning.
6. Plan for an Intentional Year
Classroom Organization requires planning. Even if you dedicate a whole weekend to getting your classroom organized if you don’t have a plan you will likely waste a lot of time.
If you don’t have a plan you will also struggle to keep up with all the organization you put into place.
Take time to figure out what isn’t working right now and what you want to do to fix it. Create that plan before you ever attempt to reorganize your classroom.
When you join The Organized Teacher Framework™, you learn how to create that organization plan for your classroom. Once you complete the course, you are able to walk into your classroom with a completely planned out guide to setting up (and maintaining) your classroom.
Connect with Kelly
Getting your classroom organized can feel really overwhelming. Instead of getting lost in the weeds of trying to completetly reorganize your classroom in one quick weekend, take little steps to organize small things.
Here is a recap of the 6 small things you can do right now to see big change
- Join the Classroom Organization Challenge
- Create a Paper Workflow
- Establish New Routines
- Start your Year at a Glance now
- Try a New Lesson Planning Format
- Plan for an Intentional Year
Until next time,