Encroaching: To advance beyond the usual or proper limits!
I stayed late last night at work. The piles were taking over! I found this photo on Pinterest that almost captures it!
If you read my blog regularly, you know that my daughter had a horrendous ear infection for a week. Twice, I called in to stay home with her and once I had to leave early to take her to the doctor. During that same week, we had a snow day. There was also a lockdown drill during my planning period. To top it all off, there was an emergency with my Dad so I left early one day this week. (I'm glad to report that my Dad is doing much better.)
Those few days of missing my planning time and after-school-prep time made my classroom a disaster! This entire week, I felt out of sorts and behind. Staying late was helpful, because I do have a pretty good system for organizing things. Spending a little extra time at work got me back on track.
The most useful system I have is my filing system. There are weeks of dated file folders in a crate. When I prep something, it can go right into the correct file. I can always find things. If I have to type up sub plans from home to send in, I can easily explain to the substitute where to find everything. My file crate looks a lot more raggedy and used than it did in August. Here are the before and after pictures!
My paras, my volunteers, and the special education teacher who team-teaches with me all know about the crate! This is great, because I can write directions for copying on sticky notes and include a direction about where to put the copies. If I'm out for a meeting or a sick day, someone usually knows where to find my stuff!
Another thing I do at least weekly is go through my plan book and make notes on dated post-its about what I need to prep for each day. This helps me prioritize what I need to do. When tasks pile up, I can get scatterbrained and overwhelmed. This helps a lot!
Hopefully, this gives you some helpful tips for dealing with encroaching piles of papers! Have a great week!