One of the things I like to do when getting organized is to create a notebook where I keep everything. It’s not a three-ring binder, although that would work just as effectively. (Those are too bulky for my personal preference.) I like to use a composition book, and using sticky notes, I create tabs for important information. This notebook follows me all year.
Organized Sections in the Notebook
In this notebook, I have a section for “Important Dates.” At the beginning of the year, I write down all of our staff meetings and any related calendar days under a heading for each month. I also leave room in case I need to later add additional PLC meetings, IEP meetings, and so on.
Another section I like to have is called “Staff Meeting Notes.” When I go to staff meetings, all I have to carry is this basic notebook where I can write down anything that we discussed along with the date. Then I can easily refer back to it when I need to. This is definitely one of the most important steps of getting organized.
The third section I prefer to title “Workshop Notes,” but you could title it “Professional Development” or whatever works best for you. In my district, we are required to have a certain number of hours a year outside of our school day where we are growing professionally. In this section, I like to write the date, the title of the activity, and some basic notes. This is also a quick reference for when you have to log your hours later for renewing your license or for turning in to administration.
My fourth section I label “IEP Notes.” While I do have a separate binder where I keep individual information on each student, I like to have a quick reference of any meetings I attended, whether it was an IEP renewal, intervention, or child study case. When I attend these meetings, we often discuss a child’s progress and our next steps. This is where I record the date, current information, and our plan for the future. It’s just a quick overview, without all the loose-leaf paperwork. That paperwork has always been the bane of my past attempts at getting organized!
Finally, I mark off another section called my “To-Do List.” Here is where I write down, right then in the meeting, what I need to do. If I say in the IEP meeting that I’m going to send Mom an email, I immediately write it down in my to-do list section.
Section your notebook off according to your district. You will know if you need more or less paper in your meeting sections as you may have longer staff meetings, more frequent ones, etc. You can also switch it up according to your needs. What I like is that it’s quick, basic, and inexpensive! For more hacks on getting organized, take a look at my post HERE!
Have fun getting organized!
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