5 Ways I Stay Organized as a Special Education Teacher

Sunday, November 12, 2017
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  Being a Special Education teacher and organization don't always go together. IEPs and assessments can produce a mountain of paperwork that never seems to end. Luckily, I've been able to organize myself quite well since I've been teaching so as to not miss any IEP deadlines and make sure that I assess my students as early as possible prior to their IEP meeting. As an RSP/Classroom Co-Teacher, I also have to lesson plan for my classes. All of this paperwork can end up a huge mess but here are 5 ways I stay organized to keep my head above water.

1. Large Visible Post-Its On My Desk - I like to use the large, lined Post-It notes to create checklists for what I have to complete for the week. I prefer to keep them posted to my desk so I can constantly refer to them. I love checking things off so large, lined Post-It notes work for me.

2. Google Calendar - Ever since I found out about Google Calendar, I really can't remember how I functioned prior. I put every single thing I must complete (sometimes months in advance) on Google Calendar and it sends me alerts when my meeting is starting or that I promised to fill out the IEP goals at 12:30 P.M. You can put both events and reminders in Google Calendar. You can use the calendar by viewing your weekly and monthly schedule. I prefer to keep it on weekly and keep scrolling. Google Calendar can be directly connected to your email since flights that I have purchased that were sent to my email automatically appear in my Google Calendar feed. This app is perfect for the forgetful and so easy to use.

3. Teacher Bag/Rolling Cart - I have my purse and then I have my teacher tote bag large enough to fit my laptop computer. I make sure that I have plenty of pencils, pens, and a notepad in it. I was even able to get a personalized bag from Etsy so I can easily spot it. You can also use the rolling cart to keep your teaching materials in one place as you travel from home to work.

4. Notes App on iPhone - I use the Notes app on my phone to write anything down from personal thoughts to lesson plan ideas. You can create different folders and categories in the Notes app to keep your dreams and plans organized. I also use this app to take notes and when it's opened, I know exactly where to look to retrieve them. I highly recommend using the Notes app more often if you don't already.

5. Clear 3 Drawer Organizer - I like to use a clear 3 drawer organizer to separate important documents and lessons so I always know where to find them. If you use color-coded folders, the clear drawers work really well. I typically use one of the drawers for testing materials, another for completed IEP assessments, and the other in-progress testing materials. I like using both the smaller one to fit on my desk and the larger one as well.

Happy Teaching!

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