Read Time: 2-3 Minutes
Ever enter a classroom and the teacher’s desk was overwhelming? I’m not speaking about the size of the desk, but the endless piles of paper and supplies that covered every inch from left to right and front to back with little space to do just about anything?
Every day before you walk out the classroom door, you desk should be free of any papers that need to be graded. This is the gift that you will give to yourself every morning when you enter your classroom: a new day and a fresh start.
There are no specific rules except that your desk should be clear of any papers that need grading, unless you are in the process of grading them. And, these papers should be sorted so you can pick up right where you left off. Place the work in folders with a sticky note inside to remind you where your left of, and what you need to complete.
Here are a few simple tips:
- CLEAN your desk. Remove as much as physically possible, and clean the top of your desk. Use some sort of disinfectant wipes or go natural with some vinegar and water on a cloth. Keep going until wipe or cloth is dirt free.
- SORT the papers that are on your desk. If you have drop off bins, these need to be sorted as well. Moving papers from one area to another doesn’t fix the problem, it postpones stress. Reward yourself every 30 minutes with a stretch. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP. It is uncomfortable but necessary.
- PLAN your method of working. Do you grade papers? How do you sort and store them? Use the computer? Sit at your desk and think about how you are the most productive before you do anything else.
- ORGANIZE your desktop. Start with the main work area. If you prefer technology, the keyboard an mouse should be front and center. If you primarily grade papers, place the keyboard and mouse in an easy to access location while you keep the center of your desk free for grading an planing.
- DECORATE your space with a FEW (literally three) things that you really like. Less clutter equals more productivity. Choose a small plant that grows well in your desk environment. And, water that plant as directed. Plants are great energy to keep you motivating when grading may seem endless. If you can follow directions, you can have a “green thumb”.
- LIGHT and BRIGHT. Add a desk lamp if your desk has low light so you can see what you are doing easily. It also helps personalize your work space.
A special note for the traveling teacher: if you don’t have a dedicated work space, find a space where you feel comfortable to work at each and every day. A favorite coffee cup will make the spot a little more cozy as you travel throughout the day.