Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tidy Up Your Teacher's Desk

This post is inspired by an article I read in a Wired Magazine, Allen, David. "Tidy Up Your Desk...." Wired Aug.2006: 022-023.

  1. "Stack the Knickknacks", well, not sure teachers have these because students do not give teachers anything these days. My desk is covered with curriculum CDs, a US/NC flag, whiteboard markers (most of them are almost dried out), a cup for pencils I find on the floor, and several coffee mugs. I guess coffee mugs would qualify as knickknacks. Pile it up until you can see the desktop
  2. "Line up the books and binders to establish a perimeter for your work area." I would not really recommend this for a classroom. Piled up books end up falling when students try to slip late homework on your desk and then accuse you of not asking for their homework or tell their parents or guardian you lost it on your desk. Do I like do, throw the textbooks in a box and stick them in the back seat of your car. I have used the say textbook for so many years I have the answers memorized. I only use them to write lesson plans. They have the Standard Course of Study numbers our school district requires on lesson plans so they can fire teachers that have poor test scores by saying we are not teaching the curriculum.
  3. "Hit the Container Store." Container Store? Forget that! The only place I can afford to go to is Big Lots. I bought some cheap CD containers. They are full. I need to weed my collection. Bet I have some CDs of Apple software that will not run on Leopard. I also park my truck near the school dumpster at the beginning and end to the school year. When teachers retire or quit, I volunteer to carry their old stuff to the dumpster. If there is something like document trays or pencil holders, I just drop them in the back of my truck and keep on going.
  4. "Set Aside A Few Minutes daily to clear your desk." The Wired Magazine article suggests using your daily planner to schedule time each day to clean off your desk. Use iCal or Google Calendar to make a repeating appointment, each school day, to remind you to clean off your desk.
  5. "Create A Folder Hierarchy." The article changed describing the desk to the computer desktop. Tip: "group files into folders labeled by year, then make subfolders for each set of tasks. Make sure your naming conventions are clear and concise." This is a problem on my Windows machine. However, I love Leopard's new feature called Quick Look/Slideshow. This is awesome for unorganized teachers like myself. I never remember what I saved a file as. If I download a curriculum file from our State Department of Ed, they name their files differently and I never remember to rename them.
  6. "Color Code Your Files." Sweet! I am not going to do this. The article recommends using bold colors for "urgent" files.
  7. "Move Your Folders." This tip is lame. "...create a desktop shortcut pointing to current assignments." Have you heard about Instead of using a flashdrive, I am trying this. Shortcuts are useless if you are having to work on multiple computers at home and at school.
  8. "Choose Attractive Wallpaper." I like this tip- "if you've got a background worth looking at, your're more likely to keep the desktop free of file and folder clutter." I am doing to download some photos from Harley-Davidson for their bikes and maybe set up that "retirement date" ticker. That is worth looking at. Cheers!
Happy New Year.

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