Building Organization Skills

By W Beamish – August 31st

I have a confession. I am not naturally organized. I have to force myself to be organized and even when I do this, I struggle with organization.

This is why this page is called building organization skills because like most of you, I am still building upon my own organization skills.

Let’s see. My purse, backpack, and bags are in disarray. I just keep shoving stuff into my bags. If I do not need whatever I have stuffed into one of my bags, it will stay in there for a very long time. Every now and then I lose something important which forces me to clean my bags, boxes and whatever I else I am using to move about my teaching supplies. Does this sound familiar?

You probably have seen me. I am the teacher most likely to be awarded the Pack Rat Award. Fortunately, there is no such award and, no, I do not actually pack rats around with my belongings. In fact, I never carry stuff that can decompose so I guess there is some hope for me.

Last year, my organization skills improved slightly when I started following a new rule. Always put things back in the same place. Clutter experts tell us we should have a place for everything. One thing about this rule is that you have to remember where you put things. I took up this practice because I was scared of losing my cellphone, which confirms to me that I little fear, indeed, is a good thing.

Have you ever put something in a special place so you would not lose it and then forgotten what the special place is? I have done this a lot. I am not bragging. Please, don’t bet me wrong. I think the key is to have one special place or if you are fortunate enough to have a smart phone, take a photo of the object in the special place.

You might be wondering why I have not developed my organizational skills to a satisfactory level by this point in my life.

However, before I go into this, I am going to get a little defensive and confess to another thing. I always start the year of organized. My classroom always looks good in September and things are in their correct places. I think it might be fair to say I have problems staying organized. I am capable of organizing, but staying organized is difficult for me. I think some of you have started a school year off just like me and slid down the all to familiar slippery slope into chaos.

One of my goals for the year is to stay organized. Join me on this journey. (And if you are already organized, I would love to know what is working for you.)

Oh, I almost forgot. I was going to tell you why I am not as organized as I should be. Easy….I don’t feel I have time to be organized. Clutter experts tell us that we do not have time to disorganized. Skeptical? I am not sure about this, but I do know if I spent less time losing things, I would have more time.  Unless, you try something you really don’t know.

It seems to me that people who are organized have a skill set that I do not have, so I am going on a quest to find out exactly what they know that I don’t know……or repeatedly (maybe deliberately) forget. I will report back on my findings.

September 18th, 2012

I find myself reflecting once again on my organization. I am picturing your Skills binders and I know exactly what I want them to look like. I know where you will place almost every page. In fact, you may have noticed me frantically moving about the classroom, telling you where to put each page.

As I think about this, I realize it was not like I was absent from school the day organization was taught. I am wondering how much of my disorganization is choice and how much is not knowing how to be organized?

As for time management, I have it down to a fine science when it matters. In your case, it will matter a lot when doing assignments and writing tests. Although, I am not really tuned into the clock a lot of the time when I teach. I have rough idea when classes begin and end, but in all honesty I just follow the bells.






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