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In my teacher education program, I remember from one class  I was handed over 60 articles on 20 different topics.  There were 20 students in my class, and we each had to prepare a presentation on one of those 20 topics, and provide the rest of the class at least 3 other research articles.  I almost collapsed under the information overload.   

What was I going to do?  Many of my peers simple used the trash to meet their organizational needs—disposing of anything that seemed superfluous.  But, the information my peers presented was useful, and I knew that at some point in my teaching career I might need it.  The problem was I didn’t have an effective organizational strategy. I was all over the place, like the information I was gathering.  I had a few articles in one class folder, some saved in another class folder, and even more scattered among floppy disks.

An effective organization strategy can save you a lot of future frustration.

First, develop a filing system.  An electronic system will allow you to save all you information indefinitely in one location.  Complete all your work on your computer, and try to get all your information (research papers, etc.) electronically, via email or compact disc.

Your filing system should work for you.  Remember to organize with purpose. If you are more likely to recall an article by its topic, you might want to group your articles, research, observations, etc by the topic rather than in class folders.  A physical system of file folders should mirror your electronic system, so you can easily access information in either place. 

Here are a few organizational strategies for your computer and/or physical folders:

  • Create class folders.  Once you complete work for a particular class, save the material in its corresponding folder
  • Manage the information based on themes.  Perhaps you have written about the approach of student journaling in several classes.  Instead of saving each piece of work in each separate class folder, it might be easier to save all works regarding journaling in one folder named “Journaling.”
  • Develop folders based on your teacher education activities.  For instance, you might want to save all your classroom observation in one folder regardless if you had to complete them for several classes.

 

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

Organizational Tips from a Middle School Teacher

Organizational Tips for Teachers #2 – Keep an Inbox

Student Teacher Topics

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