It’s that time of year again for teachers, a new school year is upon us! The holidays are drawing to an end and it’s time to start thinking about getting organised for the new school year. It can be a task we dread but getting ready doesn’t have to be a bore. Here are 8 tips you can apply to make preparation a breeze!
1. Evoke positive associations with organisation
Why not do something fun while completing your preparations? Put on your favourite playlist, movie or podcast to evoke positive associations with your organisational tasks. Use this tip to help you get through all your preparations.
2. Cross things off your to-do list for a DOPAMINE release
Crossing jobs off your to-do list brings a feeling of progress. Coupled with the release of dopamine (the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of achievement, pride, and contentment), it is no wonder crossing off that list is such a good time. Dopamine not only makes you feel great, but it also prompts you to continue fulfilling tasks. Prioritise tasks such as laminating and printing so you’re not worried about them closer to the start of the new term. Continue tip 1 during this stage too!
3. Organise by colour
Keeping tidy the mountains of resources and documents a teacher needs can be a challenge! Have you considered colour coding your resource folders? For example, you could use coloured paper to liven up your folders for each year group like the following:
- Year 7 classes red
- Year 8 classes orange
- Year 9 classes yellow
- Year 10 classes green
- Year 11 classes blue
- Year 12 classes purple
If you use the rainbow of colours you will always know if a folder is missing or out of place!
4. Focus on one task at a time
One of the worst things you could do when preparing for the new school year is to overwhelm yourself. It is important to stay present and keep your focus on one task at a time to avoid this. Your focus on one task will make you much more productive, meaning you will get through all of your preparation quicker.
5. Break up your organisation with your favourite teacher mate
It is a good idea to make sure you take a break from organisation, but why not get some stuff done at the same time? Organise to meet up with one of your teacher friends and go shopping for stationery supplies. We suggest making time for coffee and cake during your trip! You will feel refreshed and will come back to your other preparation tasks with a fresh mindset. Your friend may even supply you with some great ideas or inspiration. Also, tag your teacher friends in fun classroom ideas you spot on social media in preparation.
6. Get a lanyard
A lanyard can help you to keep many of your personal effects organised. You can attach a USB, keys, sanitiser, your favourite pen, and even your glasses to a lanyard and then you’ll always know where your vitals are! Remember not to wear it all day though, your neck will thank you later.
7. Plan ahead
Planning ahead can help you to stay organised throughout the term, not just at the start of the school year. Plan out upcoming tasks and plot in important dates such as HSC major work due dates to help save you time during the term. You can use a planner or calendar such as the Teacher Professional Development Term Planner to help keep your future priorities in check.
8. Make a pact with yourself in 2021 to keep your desk tidy
Keep the organisation going into the new term! Make a goal to keep your desk tidy. If you end each day by tidying your desk, you will start each day fresh and feeling organised!
Try following these 8 organisational tips to get the new school year off to the right start. If you are organised before the start of the school year, you’re less likely to be stressed, and you’ll likely be feeling happier and more ready to begin teaching. Starting the school year happy can have a flow-on effect to your cherubs too. They will likely be more engaged, and more eager to get to know you, ultimately leading to a willingness to learn from you.