This year before school started, my school hired Maia Heyck-Merlin, who often refers to herself "The Organization Lady," to offer teachers a great PD session on how to get and stay organized. It was one of the best 3 hours of professional development I've spent, because it spoke to a part of teaching that is so important, yet so under-developed. Maia was a teacher and understands the particular demands of this job, which she says is "not a normal job." Her goal? To help us have a life outside of school...
Her attitude toward the teacher's need for organization was refreshing and unique. She was honest and understanding about our time-crunched days--full of planning, last-minute needs and unexpected emergencies, record-keeping, communication, and paper flow--and she had come prepared to help us customize our solutions to the organization problem. This takes some genius.
Maia has some great prepared resources, all of which can be customized for our specific schedules and types of work, types of notes we take and planning we do, but they are generally geared toward the tasks of teachers and the limited time we have to do them. You can sign up for a free account on her website and gain access to many of these resources. In particular, the "flexi-friend" coupled with "Having a meeting with yourself" are the ones that make the difference for me.
I got an email from her today sharing her website, www.thetogetherteacher.com, which is full of tips and stories from the teachers she works with around the country. She also announced that her book of wisdom on this topic is coming out next week. A free chapter is available on her site.
If you're like me, and organization is not your strong suit, RUN to "The Together Teacher"!
Here's Maia giving her schtick: