Do you ever get little notes from your students that are touching but you tend to throw away? It would be easy to put them in a special folder titled “Sunshine Folder.” On a rainy day you can get those little notes out and warm your teacher heart. This can work in a similar way for all the stuff you get in your mailbox and ends up cluttering your desk. Develop a “Need to Sort” folder and a “What’s Important Now” one. You don’t have to sort everything now. You can save it for later and save your brain energy, wit, and candor for your lessons.
Hanging file folders in a crate work great for me. You can use a standard file cabinet of course but I find they are too cumbersome. Ask yourself, “How many steps does it take to file something.” In a crate you just drop it in with one step and you’re done. You don’t expend any more brain energy on it. Being a teacher takes all the creative energy you can muster. Technology, filing, paperwork … these are all things that threaten to deplete that energy. Your students rely on you to be more than just a robot issuing assignments. They need a dynamic, caring, human being who can see their individual needs and plan lessons around them. When you us this “save it for later” method you are showing you value your wit and candor in the classroom.