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How Do Teachers Stay Organised?

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Being a teacher is a busy and sometimes hectic way of life and it can feel difficult to know where to start when trying to get yourself organised! How often have you stopped, looked around your classroom, and thought, “How am I going to get through all this?!”. One of the first things I learned to accept when I started my teaching career was that my to-do list was never complete. Once I got over this realisation, I then focused my energy on how to be as organised as possible, so I still felt like I was “finished” for the day when I headed home.

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Being a teacher requires you to be organised within various areas. Some of these include your workspace & paperwork, your time for planning & prepping and your classroom. Each of these areas of teacher organisation could be a blog post in their own right, however today we will explore briefly all these areas.

Teacher organisation is important as it allows you to run an efficient and positive learning environment. By ensuring routines and expectations are in place children know what is expected of them which means your kids are ready to learn and the focus is kept on the learning. Good class management also helps to reduce any low-level disruptions as your children will learn important life habits such as being on time.

How do teachers organise their workspace?

It is important that your workspace is organised as it allows you to easily find resources you use regularly. This not only means having a tidy teacher’s desk but also any area where you work or store your personal resources.

Teacher's Desk

Having a tidy desk also shows your students that you are a good role model and will hopefully encourage them to be organised too. When you are thinking about what you will need on your teacher’s desk, consider what resources you need day to day and ensure they are easily accessible to you. Aim to keep your desk clutter-free. A good tip to help with this is to clear your desk of any unnecessary items daily. If there is anything else that has magically appeared on your desk during the day, in my case it is usually pieces of Lego or a student’s hair clip, make sure and put them away in their proper home, take them home or throw them out! Ensuring your desk is clear enough so you can sanitise it, is a good incentive to make sure your desk is cleared regularly.

Teacher Resources

When thinking about organising your personal resources, for example, training folders, professional reading, etc, consider putting together some labeled folders, trays, or boxes to store these resources in. You can also do this when storing your teaching resources. A great way to keep your learning resources organised is to store them in folders, trays, or boxes labelled with the correct subject/grade/level so they are easy to find. When storing your teaching resources, you plan to use that week, a great way to keep them stay organised is to store them in trays or boxes that are labelled with each day of the week. This means each day you can just head to that day’s box and grab all the resources you will need for that day in one handy place! Try to make a few extra copies of worksheets etc in case any go missing.

Also, make sure you regularly clear out any old or out-of-date teaching resources. If you have any resources from previous year groups/grade levels that you will not be using that year, make sure and free up some valuable space in school and consider storing these elsewhere so you only have relevant resources handy.

How do teachers organise their time?


When planning your lessons try and set aside times for you to complete your weekly plans as well as your termly or yearly plans. Try and make the times that you carry out your planning the same time each week or month to help you establish a good routine. If you are lucky enough to work with a teacher colleague, you can arrange times to plan together which should hopefully reduce both of your workloads. If you are looking for a great teacher organisation resource to help with this, you can download my free Teacher Self Care Kit which includes a daily, weekly, and monthly planner! Just click here to get yourself a copy!

Preparing Resources

The same principle works when allowing time for preparing your teaching resources. Try and set aside certain times each week that you plan to print resources, make games, collect resources, etc. As I mentioned above try and do similar tasks on the same days each week to help you establish a routine. A good way to keep track of this is to write a daily to-do list. This allows you to spread out your organisation tasks over the week, making sure everything is much more manageable. Once you have completed each day’s to-do list make sure and head home! This will help you maintain a good work-life balance. When writing your daily to-do lists you can prioritise each day’s tasks so you can focus on the most important things first. Categorising your tasks can also help speed things up. For example, it will probably be quicker to do all your printing in one day and it means you will not be chopping and changing between different types of tasks and potentially wasting time.

How to have an organised classroom?

Routines, routines, routines!

Establishing routines for everything in your classroom will help to build a calm learning environment that runs smoothly. This means creating a routine with your kids for every little thing! Some things to seriously consider establishing a routine for include lining up, how to enter the classroom, where completed work goes, where finished artwork goes etc. This is not an exhaustive list, but it really does make a difference when trying to create a calm classroom. By establishing these simple routines from the first day of school your kids will know what to expect from day one. If you would like to learn more about establishing routines and habits with a new class check out my blog post First Day of School Tips for Teachers here!

Another tip for maintaining a calm and organised classroom is to have a similar routine for each lesson. Consider questions such as, where will your kids get resources from? How will you distribute them? How will your kids transition from the carpet to their seats? What activities will they move onto if they finish early? Anticipating these types of questions will help reduce any potential chaos and maintain an organised classroom.

Classroom Resources

Having a home for everything in your classroom will help to create a tidy and organised learning environment. This means not only having a place for all your documents/resources but also all the kid’s belongings. Where will your students store their pencil cases, water bottles etc? You could even have a class lost and found to keep anything that goes unclaimed at the end of the school day!

Making sure that resources your kids will need are organised and accessible is another aspect that helps to create an organised classroom. Store things like pencils, scissors, glue, etc in accessible areas and ensure your students know where to go to get them themselves. As your kids will know where to collect resources from, encourage them to return them to their homes when they are finished using them. This will help keep your classroom clean and tidy. When storing resources in your classroom consider using trays, baskets, or bins. For example, instead of just popping your class library books straight onto the shelf, organise them into labeled bins and put the bin on the shelf. Your classroom will instantly look tidier, and resources will be easier to find for your kids! You can easily do this with all your teaching resources. You can also label the spot on the shelf that you would like your kids to return it to when finished. This makes tidying super easy for both you and your kids. If you would like to learn more about how to organise resources in your classroom, check out my blog post How to Set up an Early Learning Classroom here.

Overall, teacher organisation is important if you want to create a positive and organised classroom where your children are ready to learn. Keep in mind there are many different areas to consider when thinking about being an organised teacher including organising your time as well as your classroom. We have just skimmed the surface of what it means to be an organised teacher! Remember that creating an organised classroom will really help you to maintain a good work-life balance and once you get your organisation routines established you should notice that everything just becomes that little bit easier!

I would love to hear about your top teacher organisation tip in the comments below!

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