Teachers Know Best: Teachers Let Us In On Their Organization Secrets

You need only step outside to be reminded that summer is here. While the next school year may be far from the front of students’ minds, teachers are already thinking about their plan for the fall. We asked three D.C. high school teachers their best planning advice and their combined nearly 30 years of experience gave us advice that did not disappoint.

Meet the Teachers


10th Grade Chemistry
Years Taught: 1 year 


9th Grade Biology
Years Taught: 12 years 


High School English 
Years Taught: 16 years 

What are your top tips for staying organized for first-year teachers?


  • Plan ahead but schedule in time for changes.
  • Review the upcoming month at the start of each month.
  • Find a system that works for you and stick with it.


    • Create a “to-do list” for the day/week and check things off as you go. (Appointed Note: Our To Do Pad is the perfect compact way to keep track of all those to-dos.)


    • Labels. Label materials, shelves, cabinets, books, buckets, folders, sections of your planner, email folders, etc. (Appointed Note: Our team is a big fan of the Short Sticky Notes for labeling and color coding.)
    • Labels are visual reminders that help us keep track, locate things quickly and lead to kids navigating spaces and materials too.


    When is the best time to plan for the week ahead?

     “I like to think about and plan the week on Friday and execute on Monday.”



     “The best time for me to plan for the week ahead is either keeping up with scope/sequence and dates AND planning on Mondays.”


    “Sunday afternoons/Monday morning”


    How do you keep your desk or workspace organized?


    • Folders (graded vs. needs to be graded).  (Appointed Note: Our document folios are a sleek and stylish way to organize your workspace.)
    • Color coding (color for each class).


      • Keeping similar contents in binders/folders/clips.


      • Create sections/categorized storage.
      • Taking weekly inventory of what is still needed and what can be discarded.
      • Utilizing hooks and hanging storage as well. 


      How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?


      • Try not to bring work home with me and give myself small breaks during my planning period.


      • Ensure that all work tasks get accomplished during the workday so limit my conversations with coworkers/limit distractions.
      • Keep myself accountable during the work day with planning/grading tasks so I have time to myself while at home.


      • Plan it, mark it on calendars in purple (my non-negotiable color).  (Appointed Note: We personally love a Le Pen in fun colors to make our calendars and planners pop.)
      • Build in mini sessions so there is no "wait til I drop dead" moments.

        These teacher insights reminded us how important the little things, like incorporating a favorite color or building in time for yourself, can make or break an organized workspace. Here at Appointed we have thoughtfully designed our planners to not only keep you organized but to allow you embed your own personal organization system. Our 23-24 Planner Collection has something for everyone, whether you’re a teacher, a student, or someone who likes to start fresh for the fall.

        Get a jumpstart on your fall planning so you can enjoy the summer heat today. 

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