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3 Organization Ideas for Busy Teachers

As a teacher, being organized is the key to managing your time and workload effectively. By implementing some simple organization ideas, you can save yourself time, stress, and energy in the long run. In this post, I will share my favourite organization ideas for teachers that you can implement in 5 minutes or less!


Organization Idea 1: Alphabetize Turn-in Bin

Keeping track of and grading student assignments can be time-consuming. A few years ago I decided I would only collect work that I was grading in alphabetical order to make it easier to track and input grades. When they are in alphabetical order, you can just go down your class list and finish inputting grades in seconds.

You can make sure things are handed in alphabetically in two ways.

Option 1: Create an Alphabetized Bin

Grab a file storage crate or plastic bin and some hanging folders. Assign and label a folder for each student and ensure they are organized alphabetically by last name. When students turn in their work, they will find their folder and put their paper in. I have my “teachers assistant” go through the bin in order to collect and stack the pages.

If you teach multiple classes, you can number the folders instead of putting names on them and then assign students in each class a number based on their alphabetical order.

Option 2: Class Job
Alternatively, you can have one of your classroom jobs be “teacher’s assistant” or “collector” and have them go around and collect work IN alphabetical order. Just give them a copy of the class list and let them go! 

Organization Idea 2: Keep Track of Turn-Ins


Whenever students turn in a new assignment for grading, I take out a file folder and staple a small class list to the front. As I, or my student helper, collect assignments, we use the class list to check off who has turned in their work. This way, I can quickly see who has yet to turn in an assignment and can follow up without having to shuffle through papers!

Organization Idea for Teachers #3: Drawers for Success

Investing in an inexpensive paper drawer organizer can be a simple fix to the disaster we often find on our teacher desks. Grab a paper storage organizer that has 4 slots and label each one according to its purpose:

  • To Photocopy
  • To File
  • To Grade
  • To Hand Back

Whenever you have papers, file them immediately into one of these drawers. I find that 95% of what I have always fits into one of these categories. 

With this organization strategy, you can easily sort out your paperwork and never lose a worksheet or photocopy again. It will also help you prioritize your workload and avoid getting overwhelmed with stacks of paper on your desk.

At this point, I’m sure you can see how organizing your classroom and paperwork can totally help make things feel more manageable. I encourage you to try even just one of the organization ideas for teachers above and see how you feel! If you’re inspired, check out this blog post on some of my favourite organization tools. Be sure to tag me @lessonsforlearning on Instagram if you try anything.


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Happy teaching,


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I’m Katarina and I teach elementary students in Toronto, Canada. I’m passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that students will love and remember. If you are looking to improve your classroom management and engage your students with easy-to-implement resources and tools, you’re in the right place!

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