Monday, August 10, 2015

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." A. A. Milne

The beginning of the school year is so hectic- new classes, new assignments, new sports teams, new car pools, new books, new friends,  new clothes, haircuts, new shoes, new pencils and new notebooks.  Note that the key word here is "new."  How wonderful that every year in September, both teachers and students have a fresh start to a new adventure.

Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a student, now is a good time to reflect on the positives and negatives of the past school year.  What can be improved? What worked well? What needs to be incorporated to make things run more smoothly?

I offer a few suggestions for all of you - parents, teachers, and students- that will help to ease your stress and get you organized.  Please note that I have used, and continue to use, all of these!

1.  Gather all of your "stuff" for school or work the night before, and put it in the same place every night.  No more looking for your notebook, car keys, locker keys, hockey stick, uniform, or homework.  Same for parents and teachers-put all of your "must haves" in the same spot every night, and you will be ready to walk out the door each morning, hassle-free.

2. Have an assignment notebook with you for each class (or parents and teachers, for each meeting.) This should be something like a daily/weekly/monthly planner.  Write down long term assignments and  daily assignments, as well as what you need to take to school (or work) the next day.  It seems that when we save this information in our phones, we often overlook it; when you physically write it down, you remember it better, and have less of a chance of forgetting it!

3. Have a quiet place where you can sit and do your work and arrange your papers.  When you receive a handout at school, three hole punch it, put the date on top, and place it in the correct section of your notebook, not in the bottom of your backpack.  All of your handouts will be in order.  This works for parents as well. Organize your workload with different colors of folders. Keep all pertinent papers and emails in the appropriate folders with dates at the top, and you will have all the information in order at your fingertips. Teachers- you can make a 3-ring binder with all of your handouts in order, as well as your notes for the class.  This method helps you to be very organized and prepared.

4. I know many of you use your phone calendars, but please give my calendar method a try. Get a large desk calendar, and write everything you need to do on that calendar- meetings, long term assignments, appointments, etc. At just a glance, you will know what you need to do for the day and the week.  If you are a visual learner (and most people are), the "Dede's calendar method" will help you to be more organized and more productive, eliminating "forgotten" meetings, or that it was your turn to bring in the donuts. I have shared this idea countless times, and it works for everyone.

I am hoping that these few ideas will help to get you off to a great start for the new school year! 

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1 comment:

  1. I love the reflection part! That is a huge part of adopting a growth mindset. What worked? What didn't? What needs to change to help this year be more successful? I think I will have the kids do this the first week. They can journal their thoughts in their Writer's Notebooks - or on a shared Google doc. Thanks for making me think! I always appreciate it! :)