I am challenging my fellow teachers to get organized in their classrooms as a resolution. Each week, I am going to challenge you to choose THREE things from my list of five organizational tasks. The goal is that by spring break you will go in to the end of year pack-up with an organizational plan. These next few weeks of January will be focused on eliminating unnecessary clutter.
Here are five tasks for this week (choose THREE or more):
1. Open up a cabinet with shelves or drawers. Choose one shelf or one drawer and throw away or give away anything that you haven't used in three years. Anything in this drawer/on this shelf that you are keeping, can just stay for the time-being.
2. If you have a teacher's desk or table, find the top of it by the end of the week. Get it to a point that you can wipe it down with some Lysol. You know you need it.
3. Find FIVE teacher books to give away or donate. Not the kind that belong to your school. I'm talking about those books we all buy when we hit up Barnes and Noble, or when we used to teach that one novel but don't anymore. Give them to a younger coworker, or throw them in your trunk to donate to a local thrift shop.
4. Find something that needs fixing. It could be a computer that's having issues. It could be a wobbly student desk, or a poster that has faded from the sun. Fix it.
5. Make sure all of your teacher guides and teacher materials are sorted by subject and/or grade level. For example, one shelf may be Literacy while another may be Social Studies. If you only teach one subject but your grade levels vary, perhaps one shelf could be designated to each grade level you teach. It doesn't have to be a shelf. It can be bins or drawers. See #3 above while you work on this challenge, because my guess is you'll find plenty of books or materials that you know you bought on a whim but don't plan to actually use.
BONUS: Take every homework paper in your classroom and A.) return them to students to take home, or B.) recycle those puppies!
Here is a flashback photo of when I was given the task of creating a guided reading book closet:
Report back to tell me your accomplishments!