I am, as anyone who knows me will testify, not the most organised person in the world. In fact, if you need something losing or misplacing at short notice I’m probably the man you want to talk to.
However, I’m trying really hard this year to stay on top of things. To try and sort myself out I’ve created the following systems:
The wall beside my desk contains a plastic wallet for each class. It contains paper registers in case SIMS falls over, the classes name tags (my attempt at learning names) and any messages I leave for myself from lesson to lesson in whiteboard pen.
My windowsill in front of my desk contains a tray for each group where current teaching resources should end up at the end of each lesson. In addition, my ‘inbox’ is now an A4 paper box under my desk. I figure at least that way everything’s in the same place, and I’m going to try and file it once a fortnight or so.
On the laptop
I’ve installed tiddlywiki on my laptop and stored it in my dropbox folder. Using the wonderful CONCATENATE function in excel I created classlists where each pupil had the [[ ]] brackets needed to make each name an article. My plan is each lesson to make a couple of notes on pupils who have done something noteworthy, plus note comments when I mark books. This should help with report writing, which I suspect will be a bit of a nightmare this year given that I’m teaching 17 classes – 8 of them in year 7!
I’ve created a spreadsheet in Google Docs to plan my lessons. I’ve always overdone this in the past, so it just contains lesson title, brief outline plus homework. I can add notes as lessons evolve over time
I’ve got another Google spreadsheet with all my classes in, which I may use as a grade book, or I might start using the Moodle gradebook – we’ll see as the term goes on
Finally I’ve got my timetable set up in my Google Calendar. My frustration with Google Calendar is that you can’t easily see the ‘description’ field from the main calendar page. However, I discovered that if you embed a calendar in agenda mode, clicking on the item brings up the description field. My calendar is now embedded on a page on my wiki and it’s doing a good job of knowing what I’m doing from lesson to lesson.
So there we are. Don’t know how much of it will survive the year, but hopefully some of this will mean I’m going to be slightly more on top of things that I was last year!