Let’s talk about organization! No, not the kind that embodies a group of people working towards or for a central purpose (though we do embrace AND endorse that definition here at Created by MrHughes), but rather the kind that keeps order and calm. The kind that makes it possible to have at your fingertips nearly instant access to information when needed, and allows one the ability to track the many pieces of the larger puzzle that being an organized principal/manager entails!
It struck me that this is a huge part of collaboration! After all, how can I have rich discussions with teachers, staff, parents, and students if I don’t have the needed resources and information in front of me? How can I ensure that I am accomplishing all the tasks for the day? How can I
remember those important IEP meetings, the requests teachers, parents, staff, and students generate?
Now, before you go thinking that I am a paper-pusher type administrator, let me clarify that nearly ALL the forms and trackers I have generated are for my own personal use/job role. I have made several items for my teachers (many at their request) to help organize meetings (such as T.E.S.S. meetings that I hold each quarter- LOTS more to come on T.E.S.S.). I found my administrative life a disaster area of post-it notes all over my computer screen, my clipboard a jumble of scribbled notes, and my calendar a total disaster.
IT. WAS. BAD!
No, I mean it!
However, enter stage right my natural organizational instincts! SCORE! I found that with a little time and thought that I could create exactly what I wanted. And, I would be able to create a useful and purposeful system for this coming school year! So, what you see in the photo below is just ONE sample of my work flow.
Creating/generating forms or trackers isn’t really all that difficult! You just need to have a basic idea of what you want/need to track, and then think of a basic design or format that will meet your needs. I create nearly ALL my trackers/forms in Microsoft’s PowerPoint because I am a rock star with that program! But, you can use any software or program that you are comfortable with.
The general game plan with my priority tracker is that I fill it out each Friday for the following week. I fill out five trackers (one for each day of the week) that I have stapled together. It only takes a few minutes and saves me hours of figuring out where to start each Monday!
BUT JOHN, WHAT DO YOU WRITE ON THAT ORGANIZATION TRACKER OF YOURS?
That my friends, is a fantastic question. In my planning I generally include the following:
- appointments (with parents, sales people, faculty, staff, students, etc.)
- meetings (I.E.P’s, PTA, Faculty, Staff, etc.) and any prep needed. i.e. agendas
- activities (guest speakers in classrooms, assemblies, etc.)
- teacher duty schedule (who and where)
- faculty and staff I want to be sure I praise in some form (I strive to get one of each, each day)
- a simple goal (personal or professional- can be done in one day)
- absent faculty/staff members and who will be their guest teacher (most people call them ‘substitute teachers’)
- classrooms that I visited and for the approximate amount of time (good documentation, and helps me ensure I get to all classrooms frequently)
- a transfer of any notes/tasks/etc. from the current week that will need to be addressed the following week.
- anything else that needs my attention
In the earlier versions, I found that I needed MORE space to track my day. I came up with the idea of using the back! It is designed to fold up at the bottom and have access to the back portion of the page.
Between the entire front, AND the extra spaces on the back, I find that I have enough space to carry out my entire day!
SO, HOW DO I GET ONE OF THESE AMAZING TRACKERS OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?
The PDF edition (minus my name written in pen…ha ha) is available in the Subscriber’s Perks Page for FREE! Yup, ZERO. ZLICH. NADA. If you haven’t joined our team yet, it’s easy. Use the subscribe box on the right (scroll to the top if needed) and within minutes you will have your password along with other information. In the near future, I will be selling PDF and editable editions that you can customize to your own daily flow and needs. After all, I am on version 5 (which I am giving to YOU) because I change it frequently to meet the current needs I have. This tacker resides on my clipboard and is my assistant, second only to my amazing secretary!
Not only do I have trackers and forms to help keep everything straight (I will be sharing more about other forms and trackers I have created in future posts), but I have a binder system in place to ensure that forms and trackers are kept organized.
I tried, I really tried to love my filing cabinet with its deep and inviting drawers.Click To Tweet But I was plagued with, as they say, “out of sight, out of mind”. Past trackers would stack up on my desk (which I keep for documentation and reference) or I would forget which drawer and folder I had previously started to house them. I found that I had scattered forms and trackers mixed with notes all over my desk and office.
Getting started with a filing system was simple. All I needed were binders and card stock. Yes, it’s true that several sheets of card stock gave their lives to the creation process! But it was worth it. I kept the spine labels simple and easy to read, as you can see in the picture.
Now it’s time for you to think of some creative solutions and get started with organizing your disaster areas. No worries or embarrassment, we all have them. However NOW is the time to embrace them and correct them! AND, Don’t forget to click on over for your FREE download of my PDF edition on the Subscriber Perks Page. You can also subscribe below- only takes a minute!
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Audio Version of Post- Click below to listen: