5 Teacher Organization Ideas to Reduce the Overwhelm

organization Jun 19, 2019

Even when it's summer, it's hard not to spend time thinking about school. Honestly, I think a teacher's mind is always thinking and planning for the next year. It's not that you don't relax, because you do (you both need it and deserve it). But, planning and dreaming of all the possibilities each year holds is part of the fun of teaching. 

That being said, this post is all about possibilities for just feeling like you're on top of things. I hope, you find something that excites you for the coming year.

Modern Peg Boards

This pegboard is super sturdy. Lean it against a wall on a table or counter or hang it on the wall. Rearrange the pegs and shelves. I can think of a million uses for "this little peggie" in the classroom from keeping your teacher desk space organized to a student supplies station. They come in all sizes or you can use several together. You could even make your own this summer.

You can purchase one from MadeModVB. (I'm not affiliated with MadeMod in any way. I'm just in love with these modern pegboards.)

Etsy: MadeModVB



Easy Student Work Bulletin Board
  1. Laminate colored card stock - one sheet per student.
  2. Use a sharpie to write their student names on the laminated card stock sheets (If a student moves, you can use nail polish remover to clean off the name and reuse the paper).
  3. Put up butcher paper and a boarder on your bulletin board (I use solid color jersey fabric and colorful, patterned ribbon since it holds up for years of use and stores in a tiny space).
  4. Staple the card stock sheets in rows and columns on the bulletin board.
  5. Place 2 large paperclips on the top of each sheet of card stock or glue thumbtacks onto the back of clothespins (2 per student) and attach to the top of each piece of card stock.

That's it! Just add student work.

Note: I know a teacher who uses this for homework or classwork turn in. It's easy to see at a glance who turned their work in.


Fast Finishers

How do you deal with fast finishers?  

I'm always a fan of better work, not more work. Do you have a list of what to do if students finish their work early?

Reading a book, finishing a writing piece or getting extra practice on something you're working on in class are all great ways to engage fast finishers. 

Fast Finisher Bins are an easy and effective way to keep kids engaged and learning if they finish early. Prep a set of bins with all the materials they'll need to grab and get busy.  Easy bins to make might include: sight word or spelling practice, math facts, penmanship practice, writing prompts, math activities, challenging brain benders, sudoko, 5 minute mysteries,....


Substitute Ready

It's so easy to feel pressured to go to school sick when you have to do sub plans anyway, right?! 

Well, prepare for those days you'll need to take off in advance. Create a substitute binder and make your classroom "sub ready".

  1. Label everything a sub might need to find.
  2. Put a checklist near your door of how you expect your room to be left by students and who is expected to do what. Then, there's no argument when the day is winding down with a sub. 
  3. Build a Sub Binder: checklists- entering room + leaving for the day, pics are helpful, seating chart or rules for seating if not assigned, phone extensions, emergency procedures, class management plan, expectations you have for your students, a form to let you know how the day went, homework procedures and your expectations about the sub grading work or not, classroom procedures and signals for attention, checklist for bus/aftercare/walkers/parent pickup and procedures for each...


Checklists for Students

I'm all about organization and student responsibility and checklists are one of my favorite things. Build great habits and train your students to do more without having to constantly check up on them. Here's 5 ideas for possible checklists. They can either be posted or students can have some of them in a folder to refer to. You could try doing a post-it note sized paper laminated and attached to the corner of the desk for AM/PM routines. (Grab a template here.)

AM Checklist 

End of Day Checklist

Checklists for each center's cleanup.

Checklists for workshop times.

Checklist for when can students interrupt a teacher working in a small group.


Got some other great tips? Please share.



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