Today's post is all about my favorite thing ever: organization! Today I'm sharing how I organize my teacher desk.
I keep all of my important stuff in the top right corner of my desk. (From left to right):
- I have a giant paper clip I bought from the Target Dollar Spot to hold up any important papers (it's great for typing) on top of a box of post-it notes. The front of the box says "Reminders for Ms. Beebe." Whenever my students ask me for something that I cannot do at that moment, I ask them to write me a post-it note and leave it on my desk. Otherwise, I will forget.
- I keep most of my paperwork in the file holder shown in the middle. This whole system really deserves it's own blog post. This is my main method for organizing paper flow.
- In the magazine file, I keep my clipboard that I keep my grading sheets on. I use my own template for each class. It lasts for two weeks, and when the two weeks are over, the paper goes into my "Grades" binder. I have a folder for each class I teach. It is a pronged folder. I keep seating charts, class rosters, and quizzes/tests that need to be made up in each folder. I also have three folders for standards for different courses and quotes of the week. For those folders, I filled the prongs with page protectors. I keep the standards and the quotes in the page protectors. I loved using this system last year.
In the top left corner of my desk, I use the stack-able letter trays I purchased from the Dollar Tree to keep papers that I need to handle immediately/soon off the surface of my desk. (Right now I have to track down who got my fine point dry erase markers because I didn't order the ones shown.) I keep a box of tissues, Purell wipes, and lotion for my students to use. I instruct students on the first day of school that the only things they can touch on my desk are the lotion, wipes, tissues, and post-its. Everything else is off limits. (I am such an office supply hoarder that I feel straight up violated when students snatch pens/pencils off of my desk.)
In the top middle drawer I have drawer dividers that I purchased from the Target Dollar Spot about 18 months ago. It was a $3 item. I think I bought 4 packs. What is pictured is two packs put together. I've seen an item that looks identical at Wal-Mart that sells for just over $6. I LOVE these drawer dividers. I put some poster putty at the back corners of each divider to keep it in place. The front section of my drawer has the pens/markers/highlighters/pencil that I reach for most frequently, an eraser, chapstick, hair clips and bobby pins, and some table numbers that I don't have desks for yet. (Right now the rosters say I have 28 students in one class, but I only have 24 desks.)
In the dividers (from left to right):
- More pens, pencils, highlighters, & markers
- Post-it notes & passes (the large initial post-its are from the Dollar Tree, and are not recommended)
- Paper clips, binder clips, and butterfly clips of different sizes
- Calculator and scissors
- Rulers (out of divider)
Top Right Hand Drawer: This is where I keep the things that I will use exclusively. I have more paper, butterfly, and binder clips, markers and colored pencils that I use for my master INB, glue, an extra stapler, double-sided tape, and headphones.
Bottom Right Drawer: This is where I keep my food and lunch box. Right now I have some clips for when I have open bags, under them is a "can" of microwavable soup (I love having a few of these - They're great for when I unexpectedly don't feel well, and they're a great back-up for when I don't feel like packing (or forget) my lunch.) I keep plastic forks, knives, and spoons for my lunches so I don't have to bring any silverware from home. I also give these utensils out to students when they don't have their own. (The cafeteria was seriously charging students $0.25 if they needed utensils and did not buy their lunch.)
Top Left Drawer: This is where I keep my most reached for supplies, and some other odds and ends. I have my stapler, tape dispenser, and three-hole punch in here. I have to keep these items hidden or I will find my phone taped together, and the stapler almost always becomes a weapon. I have a tape measure, a Koosh ball, extra staples, stapler remover, white out, more extra pens, pencils, and highlighters. Toward the back of the drawer, I have correcting stamps and stickers, index cards, labels, and mini-staplers (that I give to student groups when we need them). I have a little basket full of magnets that I don't really get to use now that I only have non-magnetic whiteboards. I'm thinking of how I could use these, but the "the students will not leave them alone" thought keeps coming back to kill my idea. I believe the baskets I'm using to organize this drawer were purchased at the Dollar Tree (the white ones) and Big Lots (the blue ones).
Middle Left Drawer: I have this drawer organized with 3 photo boxes that I purchased at Michael's. (They're almost always on sale for $2 each, and every now and then they go on sale for $1.66 each.) The first box is supplies that students regularly ask for: pencils, pens, eraser caps, and pencil sharpeners. The second box is miscellaneous crafty supplies: hot glue gun, markers, clothespins, and thumbtacks. I'm thinking about gluing the tacks onto the clothespins to create an interchangeable display again. The last box is where I'm keeping my dry erase markers. (I'm so excited to play with neon window markers I found on clearance at Michael's!)
Bottom Left Drawer: This is where I keep my emergency supplies. Lotion (for me), deodorant (also for me), baby wipes, first aid kit, Ziploc bags, feminine products (that I also share with students) and cough drops (They're the "Coldeeze" cough drops, and they're medicated. You take them at the first sign of a cold, and it is over so much quicker! I highly recommend these, but I cannot share them with students because they are medicated.) I also have some safety pins. Basically, I'm the teacher that students come to when they need something. Students will even come in between classes (when they don't have my class) to grab a soft tissue or some lotion.
My desk set up is slightly different from previous years. It is more streamlined, and I just love how I have it set up for the year ahead. When my desk is well-organized, I find that it is easy to keep it that way throughout the year.