Save some sanity...Organize your resources! - Island Teacher

Save some sanity...Organize your resources!

I thrive on organization (or at least attempting organization). I am a list maker. Post-it notes with endless lists that I can check-off are my friends. I like to have a plan for everything! So why did it take me 11 years to figure out a better system to organize my files?? Your guess is as good as mine. Previously, I had labeled paper file folders and shoved them into filing cabinets. Disclaimer: This post is in no way knocking paper files folders and filing cabinets...mine were just so unorganized. ;) Sometimes I would end up with 3-4 folders all stating something like "-AR verbs present". Before we moved to Grand Cayman, I had taught at different schools in Georgia and Florida, so I had units corresponding with various textbooks as well. It was a mess. I'm not sure how I managed finding anything...ever. I think because resources were tucked into a file cabinet that I could easily close that I didn't think about it as much. As teachers, we know time is lacking, so file organization just wasn't a priority. When we moved, I packed up those SAME paper files into plastic bins and they came flying across the Caribbean with me where I put them into the SAME metal filing cabinets here.  Ok, now I'll be really honest and show you a sample of what this all looked like before so that you can visualize the madness...

In order to get this under control, the first thing I did was begin to purge files. I mean, let's be honest. If I hadn't used a resource since 2004, chances are I'm not going to miss it if I just chunk it. So I threw away a LOT of stuff. I find myself constantly looking online or making my own resources (especially since I'm taking an interactive notebook approach this year), so for me, there's no need to save everything I've ever thought about using. I was a bit of hoarder and why I allowed everything to come with me on a move to another country is beyond me. I began the process last school year of moving everything to 3-ring binders. Each binder has a broad category on the outside and tabs on the inside to separate categories. It's a work in progress and I work on it as I have time by pulling a paper file out of the file cabinet, throwing away what I no longer use/need and adding the papers to the correct category or creating a new category. 

 I have found that I am now more easily able to find a resource by pulling the correct binder and looking at the tabs. One check off my post-it note list in my quest for more organization. ;) What about do you organize your files?

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