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Butterfly Clutterbug Here: out of sight out of mind is my greatest fear
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2019
My headline says it all, folks. I do not like putting things away. I either lose them or forget I have them. Either way, it's been a massive struggle for me, as a first-year teacher, because you can't NOT put things away! Especially paper things!
I tried a vertical paper stack, but I couldn't see anything on it. So, once again, I was confronted with out of sight, out of mind, and my piles and piles of papers got bigger... and bigger... and constantly fell over. I'm a mess, okay? But this cute and colorful little guy has saved this butterfly! I learned that horizontal filing is so much better for the way my mind works.
Now, my school does not supply me with a filing cabinet, and I don't exactly have the money to purchase one. I have a hand-me-down filing cabinet from my family where I store student data for report cards, etc. But that's about it. I had a system for my Monday-Friday papers, but it quickly fell apart (literally and figuratively... the folders ripped quickly and, even before this, got lost in the piles). And I'm not allowed to have a teacher desk, so it's not like I have a lot of space for these piles, either. I have a podium big enough to set my computer and my document camera and half a sheet of paper. So you can imagine just how awful my situation was for the majority of this school year.
Classroom organization is not a class they make you take when you're getting your master's or your teaching credential, but it should be for people like me.
So here's what I did to get that under control:
1. Make a list of all the paper types lying around. (Daily papers for the kids to work on, notes on things I want to try next year, math masters to copy, ELA masters to copy, spelling groups 1-3 masters to copy, papers to pass back, students' monthly WIPs for writing)
2. Buy the really pretty file folders that match the color scheme for the file ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072WH7PFN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ). Because if it's pretty, I'm much more likely to keep it up. I don't know why. No regrets here, though; I've been keeping it up for two months!
3. Label all the folders.
4. Get my mom in my room after school to help me go through the piles and determine if there was a category of papers that I missed, papers I could toss (I hate being wasteful, but... can't get to everything in one day. Still learning how NOT to over-plan), and all that good stuff.
I now have the same filing system in my home office. If you like seeing everything laid out in front of you, this is the file for you.