Now You Can Stay Organized Throughout the School Year
A new school year begins one of your resolutions may be to keep your office organized – while this task may sound simple, we all know that as your list of students grows and your responsibilities mount, staying organized becomes more and more difficult. With a little discipline, and some up front planning, you can increase your chances of staying organized throughout the school year. Getting organized for the school year requires a 2 pronged approach; organize your files, and organize your classroom space.
Organizing your Files
There is one thing to keep in mind as you develop your system for managing student records: FLEXIBILITY IS KEY– your system doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to be able to make adjustments quickly. Chances are you will experience a lot of flux in the number and type of students you work with throughout the year (new student’s enter the district, others move away or enter into the general student population), for this reason you need to establish a flexible system to keep your student records organized.
Let me introduce you to your new best friend, Microsoft’s Excel, using Excel to keep track of attendance and student progress is great because of its flexibility, you can easily add columns and rows to an existing spreadsheet. Excel also has a great sort function you can use to select specific data you want to view, this feature is useful when you have to create reports or discuss an individual student’s progress. If you are new to excel, don’t worry, the software is fairly intuitive, and the answers to most of your questions can be found by clicking on the question mark in the upper right hand corner of the page, or by searching for tutorials on YouTube. In addition to creating your roster you can use excel to manage your schedule and keep track of your students’ progress – one tip that seems to make my life easier is having all of my records in one workbook and adding new tabs to the existing workbook to capture new information – this way I have a one stop location where I can access all of the information I need. If you are not yet a speech language pathologist, learn more about career opportunities and graduate programs in this field.
Organizing your Classroom Space
For SLP’s space is often at a premium, some of you may even be working out of a converted storage closet, which is less than ideal when you are trying to teach lessons that require the use of many visual aids, games, and learning tools. One great space saving organizational tool is hanging pockets that you can use to store worksheets and assignments for each student. Baskets are another great way to hold and organize learning tools and craft supplies make sure these are labeled and you have a place for everything. Reduce distractions by using tension rods and curtains to take toys and games out of the view of your students so they are not distracted during learning time. In terms of art supplies try to prepare or purchase multi-use supplies, there are a lot of ways to use a Popsicle stick and a pompom, and glue and macaroni can definitely save you in a pinch.
So here’s to a great school year SLP’s. I wish you great success; may your students flourish, and may your IEP’s be detailed, and may your classroom be organized!
Written by Stephanie Small and edited by Laura Morrison, the Content Manager of GradSchools.com. For tips and information on continuing education in Speech Language Pathology, please visit www.GradSchools.com.