I have a gigantic aluminum rectangular prism in my classroom that is taller than I am.
I am talking about the filing cabinet…every teachers’ worst nightmare.
When school first began I gathered many folders and wrote different skills on the labels. Every time I found activities or handouts for a specific skill I would file it in its proper folder. This seemed like a GREAT idea. I had everything organized and placed in this cabinet. Then reality set in. If I wanted to plan for a specific skill, I had to go back into my filing cabinet and pull the files then sit and sift through them all. This may not seem like much work unless you’re like me, planning from home with this holy grail of a cabinet 35 minutes away from your home. As time passed I realized that this filing cabinet was not the best method.
Why did I start off with this method? All the teachers on my team used a filing cabinet so I felt I should follow the trend. Tenured teachers rarely cleared out their cabinets, so it was overflowing with old material.
Please forgive me….but I have never heard of the machine that printed copies in a purple tint. Thanks to Google I just discovered it was called a mimeograph. Let me just say, if that is still in your filing cabinets, do all your students a favor and just chunk your filing cabinet into the trash.
It took be about a week but let me just tell you that it is definitely worth it! Every day for at least an hour I dedicated that time to sifting through my filing cabinet, throwing away what wasn’t needed. The files I intended to keep, I scanned them and saved on a jump drive.
See how I organize my files in the video below:
Please be aware that technology can mess up! If you plan on creating a digital filing cabinet I highly recommend backing it all up on an external hard drive as well.
When I plug in my jump drive this is what you’ll see. Everything has its place. I sorted all my files into its specific content are. Notice the months tab.
When you click on a tab it becomes more specific. This looks like it took a long time but I promise it didn’t!
It was as simple as right clicking and creating a new folder!
Just like we all have tubs housing the different games related to the month/season, I did with my handouts. I decided to do it like this because I have quite a bit of themed products. I like having my end of the year products all housed together when I click, “June”.
When I plan with my team in another room, I don’t have to grab a heap of folders and lug them around. If I want to plan at home, I don’t have to fill my rolling cart to the top. All I do is take a jump drive about the size of my pinky wherever I go. This also makes cleaning out files extremely easy. With education changing constantly, using documents that are 20 years old are obviously not going to keep our children engaged. I can easily sort through my files and delete what doesn’t work. We are currently in the digital age, let’s start acting like it!
I hope this was a “ZESTY” idea that you can add to your classroom.
How do you organize your papers?