Co-Teacher Must Haves #4: (Some type of) Organization

Monday, July 27, 2015
Lets face it, I've had to hound down many teachers for assignments, quizzes, tests, lesson plans, grades, the kitchen sink... In order for me to be a great co-teacher, I need a co-teacher who gets things in on time/ has things planned out. Think of the kids! Think of my sanity!

As you already know, I've been working with my co-teachers this summer to get most things organized for the fall. Why? Because I know the moment school starts, it'll be hectic. As teachers, we have so many things to get done before school starts so I'm attempting to eliminate the added stress by co-planning beforehand. This way, when school starts, my co-teachers and I can focus on the other things that will be laid at our doorstep to finish before students come back.

As co-teachers, I think the first thing we need to get down is how we function. I've had teachers who didn't have any type of organizational system to the teachers who know exactly what they're doing at 10:30AM. The problem is ... it gets tiring trying to hunt down teachers for assignments, notes, powerpoints, quizzes, tests, lesson plans, foldables, do-nows, exit slips, page numbers, textbooks, etc.

So, my fourth must-have for a co-teacher? Organization. I'm not saying you become a Type A person and have lists on lists of things you're going to do and at the exact minute you're going to implement them. I'm asking for some type of system that I can work with - a system that gives me enough time to sit down and read through your lesson plan, get whatever materials I need from you, and time to modify/ accommodate for the student.

At the end of the day ... we're here for the student.

Now, there are teachers out there who just won't talk to people and prefer email instead. That's great. My issue with this is that 99.98% (if you're that awesome .01% that does read their email, kiss your brain! Come work with me!) of the time, this teacher doesn't read their email after they've sent out whatever they needed to send out. Thus, I send an e-mail back and I never get a response. So I end up making a modification without her input, email it out to her so she has a copy, put it in the Google Folder, and she never looks at it/ doesn't know anything about it until I'm in the room.

There were days where I got an earful about what I did wasn't good enough or it wasn't something she preferred for the student to do. What do you want me to say?

I've had teachers who put their phone timer on, told me I had 20 minutes to discuss a weeks worth of assignments and modifications, on top of checking in with her about what had happened this week, and discussing grades, behavior, etc. That's not the organized system I want and it's not a system that will work.

Don't do that. Please.

As co-teachers, we should have a organized system of how things will be done. If you know you want a test, just reaching out and letting me know: "hey, planning a test. get fired up," is enough for me. Or, if you know you'll be late on lesson plans, but you got the materials all ready - send me the page numbers!

At times, I know, we get this brain-gasm and we assign the world's best assignment/ project on a whim. The kids love it, it's standards based graded, it aligns with CCSS, your principal loves what he saw, and you're given a certificate for best teacher ever. Could you text/email me what you assigned? Don't let me walk in there not knowing or come find you after I get an email from a parent about how their child can't complete the project because he can't read/write/draw/etc. 


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