Do any of these questions sound familiar? “How do I keep up with everything?” “I struggle with throwing things away- what do I keep and get rid of?” “What do I do with all the papers?” These are questions I get most frequently which means you have probably wondered about them too.
This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy.
In today’s episode, I answer some of your most pressing questions. When you subscribe to my email list or join the Facebook group there are a few questions I ask you. But sometimes I also put out polls on my social media platforms to get your questions. That’s where these questions are coming from today!
I struggle with throwing things away that I haven’t used in a while in case I may need it again.
Just throw it away! We have technology! I say this a lot and I’ll say it again because it’s true. If you didn’t invest your time or money into picking a resource out, let it go! You have too much on your hands to go through everything or to try and save it for “maybe later.” Later will likely never come so just get rid of it! And please, if it’s recyclable, please recycle it!
I have trouble keeping up with everything – I NEVER have time to finish anything I start, whether it’s setting up my classroom in the BOY, organizing my resources, or just putting away the daily stuff.
This, I think, has more to do with a time management issue than a “stuff” issue. Although too much stuff can definitely play into it. In the episode, I talk about the conversation I had with Kristina Grant about so many teachers using the excuse “not having enough time” and she lays down a real honest conversation about that simply just being an excuse.
Here are some resources to help you with time management:
How do I squeeze it all in while being responsive to children’s starting points?
Small group teaching is where it’s at! That is how you do this.
In episode number 72 I talk about How to Organize for Small Group Teaching (linked above ^^^). The Organized Teacher Framework students have access to a whole lesson on differentiation and how to do that so you can meet the needs of all your students.
Also, just important to remember that you will never get it all done. Give yourself some grace!
What do I do about all the papers?
This is a question I get the most often. You can get all the info on how to organize student papers + a podcast and video on it right here.
Katy Smith said “I love, love, love bins and organizers, and it’s nice to have extras for when I temporarily need to store something or if one breaks…..but sometimes I tend to hoard them and have way too many. Do you keep extra bins on hand, and if so, how many would be appropriate?”
Extra bins are always good but you don’t want to have too many. Usually 4 to 5 extra boxes I think is enough.
Also, as the year goes on you’ll notice some boxes and bins won’t have as much in them because you’ve used the materials. You can also combine or shift things around if you find you are out of boxes and need a new one. Some of my favorite org bins are in my Amazon shop.
@kaitlyngilliam asks “what do you always need to have on or right by your u-shape table”
As little as possible! You want this area to be clear so you can pull kids at a moments notice. You’ll want your lesson plans and any materials for small group teaching. That’s about it! The Organize Your Utable resource is available to help you get this area organized!
@amymatt329 asked, “what is the best way to plan and organize for the following school year?”
I love to talk about this, that’s why I created The Organized Teacher Framework, my signature course on helping teachers create the classrooms they want and need. What I talk about in there is the idea of your classroom being like a cake. All the tiers rely on each other. So here is what you need to focus on:
- Plate- self care/time management
- 1st tier- classroom management- routines, behavior management, schedule
- 2nd tier- classroom organization- how you are actually organizing things, structure, room setup
- 3rd tier- decorating- this comes last because it’s the least important
So when you sit down to get a plan for the upcoming year, work in that order.
@e_squared794 wanted to know “what do you do with extra copies? Save them for the future or recycle them”
I save a couple for if a kid needs to redo it or loses it or whatever. But the rest go into a drawer. I always used the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet and all extra papers that didn’t get used went in there and that was paper used for free draw whenever we had free draw time.
Lastly, @anaestherteacher asked, “how to organize your class when you do not have one and move from class to class?”
Create as many homes as you can, rolly carts are great. Just be sure to give everything homes.
For example, maybe you have 2 rolly carts for the 2 different subjects you teach. Then each shelf is a class.
Or, maybe you have one cart and each shelf is a class or a subject. Then within the shelf, you have things in color-coded folders.
Anytime you are trying to organize things you want to niche down it’s home as small as possible so you always know where something is
Connect with Kelly
Until next time,
If you found this post helpful, then Pin it to refer back to later or to share with another teacher!