There you are, sitting at a staff meeting. Bored already. You glance at the teacher beside you and notice she has the most inspiring and attractive notebook. With colored Flair pens. Your teacher heart skips a beat. Love. Envy.
You look down at your own notebook – the one you got at the back-to-school sale for 10¢. The bent cover. Your dull pencil.
Sigh . . .
Admit it – you’ve done it too! But don’t let those cute, organizational teaching supplies make you feel inadequate and get you down.
You can easily conquer your teaching-tool-envy and feel organized at the same time. And it doesn’t hurt too much.
Here’s a quick, easy guide to help you look like an organized teacher, even when you’re not feeling like one, because attitude is everything!
Look Like an Organized Teacher
When you’re trying to pull off an organized, confident look, your stuff DOES actually matter. Let’s admit that sometimes we’re a bit superficial and shallow. And dang it – some of that stuff is super cute!
To look pulled together, you don’t need lots of expensive stuff. But I do suggest that you invest in a few important, attractive things. Invest a bit more money in the quality items that help you to feel good about yourself and the image you portray to others. Decide which items are worth the splurge, and which aren’t.
Here are the teacher tools for looking cool!
Large, Cute Teaching Bag
There are so many out there that with a bit of research you’ll find the bag for you. Personally, I like the ones with lots of pockets because I have lots of things I need. What things? Keep reading to discover the important teacher bag “tools”!
Organizing Your Teaching Bag
These items can be as fun and/or functional as you wish – but just seeing it should make you feel good and brighten your day. I bring all this stuff when I attend a meeting, in-service, or conference. Some of it is “fluff” that I could possibly live without. Some of it is absolutely crucial! I’ll tell you which is which in my world – but you do you boo!
1. Super cute, ready-to-go teaching binder
This is a MUST. Set up an organized teaching binder with your important teaching and class information in one place. Grab it and go for staff meetings, conferences, and in-services.
2. Inspiring notebooks and a planner that screams your personality
FLUFF, but nice to have. Who doesn’t love brightly patterned notebooks? And these are really affordable and found at dollar stores and Walmart. The small boost of happiness is worth the extra 50¢ they cost. The notebooks below came from Walmart, Marshalls, and my local dollar store.
Planners, on the other hand, are tougher to find if you’re picky and hard to please (aren’t we all; just a little??) So many varieties and styles are out there and a little experimentation can really help you find a style that you LOVE to look at.
Below are links to popular – and stylish – teacher planners that are sure to inspire you!
Here’s the link in case you want to peek! Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner
And here’s a link to We Are Teachers: The Best Planners to Help Teachers Stay Organized (in Style) which lists some other fun and functional options.
3. Smooth pens that write well
This is a MUST. We all know that a good flowing writing pen is a must. I usually just use a Bic because I like how they write. I also prefer fine tip points.
I’d love to hear about your favorite writing pens.
4. Colorful, fun pens
This is FLUFF (Sorry, but it’s just fun fluff!) Paper Mate Flair Pens are always the most popular option. Lately there are lots of colorful gel pens and even lots of Sharpies being toted around. They’re super fun and basically a status symbol, but toting around 12 different colors is probably fluff – but FUN FLUFF. You could argue that they’ll keep you awake during a boring meeting – that’s true.
5. Sticky notes
Sticky notes are good to have when you attend the kind of meeting that requires you to take action. I always bring them to my school’s beginning of the year teacher meeting. I walk out of that meeting with a list of 20 things that I needed to do yesterday, so sticky notes are a requirement for some meetings.
MUST HAVE! For the sake of everyone – PLEASE BRING THIS! ? ‘Nuff said. (And yes, I’m shouting!)
MUST. This is included because you look like an ultra-organized teacher when you pull one out. You get bonus points for having a couple extra to loan out to teacher friends. They’ll remember that you were the prepared one of the bunch.
Highlighters are nice to have and fun to play with during slow meetings. Everyone’s impressed when you’re this prepared.
Cute Travel Mug, Mug, or Tumbler
To complete your cool teacher tools, you need a cute drink cup. Ditch the cheesy teacher mugs and the nasty, moldy mug you haven’t cleaned since the first day of school – GROSS!
Get something cute – and keep it clean, for heaven’s sake!
(Plus – think how cute you’ll look holding it as you monitor the bus line!)
Final Word About Teacher Organization
Sometimes the appearance of being organized can boost your confidence and inspire you to actually become more organized. Perception is reality, so use this opportunity as a springboard to better organization!
Please let me know what I’ve left off this list by emailing me at Julie@Caffeinequeenteacher.com. I’ll update the list when I hear from you! Just add “Teacher Organization Article” in the Email title. I’d love to hear your tips to help other teachers look like an organized teacher!
Thanks and I can’t wait to hear from you!
But before you go . . .
Don’t forget to grab the FREE Teaching Organization Pages Kit! It will start you on the path to looking (and truly becoming) more organized!
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And while you’re here, Pin one of the images to your Pinterest board so that you can find this help when you need it!
See you soon, Friend!