Reflective Teaching – Day 3

Te@chthought‘s Day 3 blogging challenge is: “Discuss one “observation” area that you would like to improve on for your teacher evaluation.”

There are a few areas that I would like to improve in this year, but one that is most obvious to me (and keeps me up at night) is my most embarrassing bad habit. I have a tendency to allow clutter and chaos to reign when I get busy. So, the area that I would like to immediately improve on is managing my work flow for efficiency and organization. I am somewhat organized, but it does not translate well! I find myself in a panic when I get snowed in at home and I think about the chaos on my desk! My planning is done, but actually finding everything. . . that is another story! I stack the papers that I don’t know what to do with on my desk (I plan on dealing with them later), notes, and the endless administrative paperwork also end up in these piles. At the end of this school year, I finally excavated to the bottom of one of these piles and found stuff from October. Embarrassing. 

I am not sure how to improve in this area. I have tried several ideas: 

  • deal with the paper clutter immediately: file it, recycle it, respond to it, just do something!
  • tidy once a week – completely
  • tape my mailbox shut so that nothing new can be delivered until the old stuff has been processed

None of these worked for me! Dealing with the paper that my school produces could consume my entire work day. This was not an efficient tactic. Tidying once a week really helped – as long as nothing got scheduled or interfered. Once I left my pattern, I had difficulty getting back. And taping my mailbox did not work at all. The office had scissors. 

Having a teaching partner made me try a lot harder last year. But, you can see from above that I did not manage to deal with my piles completely last year! 

I think that the best strategy for me has been to schedule my time/work more efficiently – and stick to it! Acknowledge when I am off schedule and make an immediate correction. 



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