This week, over at Littlest Learners, we're assembling a Super Fabulous teacher organizational tool. I am in love with it, seriously. I can't say it enough that when I am organized, I feel better as a teacher and my students pick up on that and for the most part, I think they behave better in an organized classroom (although to be fair, some kids could have a personal maid and still not behave!).
At any rate, I was gushing about this great planner/organizer tool to a friend of mine and she just kind of shook her head and said "you organized people make me laugh"...emphasis on the word you like it was something to be ashamed of. Now this friend is a teacher too and she's organized but she said I am too obsessive about it.
Perhaps I am...and I know for a fact I wouldn't be nearly as bad as I am currently if I wasn't bored out of my ever loving mind and in need something more productive to do! I can't work on curriculum and stuff yet so I am turning my attention to how I can be better organized. Because you always can be. Even if I wasn't bored out of my mind...I do always look out for things that will keep me organized and in turn help me be a better teacher. I have zero doubt they go together.
My first year teaching I had a split grade, 4th and 5th graders. I was hired after Thanksgiving and was the third teacher with the children that year (not to mention a steady flow of subs who ran like hell after a day or two). Anyway the room was a mess. It took me 2 hours to clean off the teacher's desk. Which I did on my own time after school because I thought I would vomit if I had to come to school another day and see that. It makes the flow of the classroom suffer and the children suffered too.
In fact, I am convinced that the reason most of those children's behavior turned around was because I got that room organized, established procedures and gave them a voice in the room. By the end of January, we were a team. It wasn't always a happy team but we were a team and there was respect. I have no doubt the organization had a big hand in that.
So I found myself actually taking my friend's jabs as a compliment. Yes, I AM organized and no, I'm NOT ashamed of that.
In fact, today after taking The Littles to see a movie after lunch, we stopped at Walmart again and I picked up some drawer organizers I spotted there last week. Normally their 3-drawer (white) organizers are anywhere from $15-20. These beauties were in nice colors and were only $9. Thank you back-to-school sales! They had a lot of colors when I first spotted them: pink, blue, green, a pretty orange (even though orange is FAR from my favorite) and some very light black ones. All of the drawers are tinted too. These are the kind you can put wheels on.
They were sadly out of orange but I did pick up these beauties:
I had actually chosen a green one of the 3-drawer one until I saw the one with the two small drawers on the top and then quickly made a switcheroo. If my room arrangement is how I remember it being, I will have room under my super long counters to put these organizers. I am planning to use my U-shaped table as a combination small group teaching area/teacher desk so having these organizers there will allow me to organize some of the small group materials I need to have on hand but don't want to have stack up on the counter or on the table.
I can only imagine the load of guff my friend is going to give me about my organization obsession...but they were by far the cheapest 3-drawer organizers I've ever found and who can resist the colors? Seriously? I can't wait to get into my classroom!