Teacher organisation tips, resources and planning ideas
Being a teacher is great. It’s a job that gives so much fulfilment from being able to teach young students more about different subjects, and enriches one's life in general. Although it is very fulfilling, it can also be a tough job to do. Yes, all the holidays are great, but a lot of people don’t see the hours of work that go into lesson preparation: we understand that more than most here at Pango.
Because we know all too well how hard it can be to get it all done, we’ve decided to put together a guide full of teacher organisation resources to help. Read on if you’re looking for some useful tips and ideas to help you with your teacher organization.
Why it’s important to stay organised
Lots of unexpected things can happen to you before you even reach school first thing in the morning. You might have had a bad sleep, you might be stuck in traffic, and after all of this, you might have even forgotten your equipment for the day.
Organisation helps you stay one step ahead, so even if everything else goes wrong, you have a plan to stick to. Being prepared gives you a certain amount of peace, and the better organised you are, the better the lessons will go, and the more your students will learn.
How to get organised
You know that organisation is key. But the ‘How’ of it all you might not have completely nailed down yet. Don’t worry: that’s why we’re here. Let’s take a look at all the things that you can do to help you get a better grip on your daily schedule.
Probably the most important thing you should do when starting to organise as a teacher is planning out your lessons. There are multiple methods for doing this, and there’s no right or wrong way.
One of the more traditional methods for lesson planning involves using a lesson plan organizer. If you are more into the traditional paper and pen method, you could opt for a binder or folder in which you gather every lesson plan you have, writing them by hand.
If you are more tech-savvy and like the idea of a digital calendar, then we encourage you to try Pango, where you can organise lessons, access resources and plan your time easily.
You can write out great lessons, but if you do not have the timing right, things can still go wrong. Make sure you take a proper look at your time management strategies.
If you have been teaching the same group of students for a while, you will likely know if they need more or less time for certain subjects; does every learning goal have a set time? Take everything into account, so you feel at ease when teaching.
Sorting our supplies
So, you have your lesson planning down and you’ve nailed your time management. But how about the lesson materials you will be using? Have you thought about what you are going to use, when you are going to use it and how you will provide it?
All the different pens, worksheets and everything else flying about can make things very confusing for you and your students - more on this in our hacks below. Decide what you will and won’t be using beforehand.
Teacher organisation hacks
Ok, we’ve outlined some of our best teacher organisation tips, but it is understandable if it all still feels a little theoretical. That’s why we have some really great hacks for you to use straight away, to help you organise everything in your day-to-day.
How to organise a teaching file
The most old-school method out there, but still very effective: organising everything into a teaching file. And yes, not only teacher-dinosaurs use this one! All you really need is a couple of binders, some plastic folders and dividers and you are set to start your system.
Try making a section for every main subject you teach, and divide every section into subtopics. You can organise by subject, themes or even time of the year: whatever works best for you. Give everything a label according to the section, so it is easier to find back when you need it.
Organising supplies into bins/buckets
Organisation doesn’t have to stop at your desk. Why not re-organise the entire classroom? Gather up some bins, buckets, baskets and give every piece of material a designated place of storage. It is easier to find everything you need when you are teaching plus it is clearer for your students.
Point kids in the right direction/Help the kids help you
If you have put everything in bins and baskets it also needs a place to overnight. Take a look around in your classroom and give everything a spot. Use some coloured stickers or pictures to have a visual way to let your students know what belongs where. It will make cleaning up so much faster and more fun!
Organising lesson plans: templates
Last, but definitely not least, it’s essential to make sure your lesson plans are properly structured. Lesson plans come in particularly handy for this prep task.
Here is an overview of everything you need to get in a lesson template:
- A clear objective
- Requirements for the lesson
- Every material you will use
- The lesson procedure
- What kind of assessment will you use?
- Space to reflect on the lesson
Pango allows you to create lesson plans which follow a clear structure and build-up.
Do what’s right for you
Everyone has their own way of organising the day-to-day stuff, and their lessons. Try experimenting with different methods, and find out what works best for you.
Maybe you’ll be able to implement the tips above and get organised quickly, or you may find that you have to make your own creative solutions, perhaps borrowing from our guide here and there. Whichever way works best for you is fine; as long as you and your students benefit from it, that’s the most important thing.