A Filing System

As a teacher, you'll find that you have to deal with a lot of paperwork. To stay organized, it's a good idea to set up a filing system. A good exercise is to write down all of the major file headings that you think you will need. Try to make them intuitive. You will not want to spend a great deal of time going through your files to find a specific paper because you cannot remember the file headings you used.

Try a color-coded system: pick a color for each of the major categories of files. For example, you might have different colors for the following:

  • School paperwork

  • Student work

  • Lesson plans

  • Curriculum-specific information

  • Assessments

  • Professional development

Once you pick the categories, you can create files using the color-coded category system and place them together in your file cabinets. If you see a file lying on your desk, you will know instantly what category of file it is.

If you would like to learn more about organizing your file system or your room itself, refer to Organizing from the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern. This book provides excellent systems to help you get your classroom organized.

Elementary school teachers often have to deal with several individual student assessments during the course of the year. As you create your filing system, you may want to give some thought to how you are going to report the information. You will probably want to have an overall file for each individual assessment type, i.e. reading tests, state assessments, etc., and then individual folders for each student within that assessment area. This system will help keep you organized and better enable you to use the assessment data in the future.

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