THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

Yes, I know that teaching is work…damn hard work, but having justcome from a non-teaching job where I considered myself very organized and on top of what I did, to being a classroom teacher again, I can tell you there is a difference in what organization skills you use.  This is my third week back in the classroom and I still feel very unorganized and a little overwhelmed right now.  I have reached that point where I know how much I need to get done, but I just have to figure out how to do it and still make the classes interesting enough for many students who don’t want to be in class.
Teaching I have found, utilizes almost a completely different set of organizational skills than business or government organizational skills.

Business/Government organizational skills may be accomplished witheither an electronic or paper style planner with a tasks list,calendar, and address book.  Email can be either incorporated into the organizer or standalone dependent upon the system.  Organizers like:  Basecamp, Zoho, Outlook,Thunderbird, Zimbra or Google Apps are all examples of integrated electronic organizers. Franklin Covey, Daytimer, GTD  and other organizer books are examples of pen and paper organizers.  Organization is fairly straight forward and any of these organizers, software, applications or systems  can be used effectively in most business or government scenarios, it depends on your personal preferences and the IT powers that be at where you work.

In my opinion and experience none of these type organizers work well for teachers in the classroom, they are useable, but not ideal.  The needs of a teacher are much different than simply putting a schedule and task list together, listing tasks and making it work.  A teacher has to have room to plan their lessons (from 3 to 7 everyday – dependent upon their schedule), any appointments for the day, tasks to be accomplished in addition to what is in the lesson plan(s), notes, room for behavioral documentation, grades, communications with parents, new policies that are put in place, etc.  I am not saying that a teacher has more tasks than other professions, I am just saying that teachers have to organize their work differently and the typical work organizer or planner does not work for me as a teacher.

I have tried more than a few online or electronic organizers that state they are developed for teachers, but have not found one that meets my needs yet.  Also there is the issue if I am in a meeting and there is no internet connectivity – no organizer, so I have gone back to the”Master Teacher Plan Book” (no I am not a master teacher that is just the name of the plan book) that I used to purchase every year at Barnes& Noble (it is the only place I have found it), it is setup in away that I like and can use.  Even so, I take it apart and put it in my own notebook organizer to ensure that I have room for the other “stuff” that I have or do as a teacher.

I would eventually like to find an electronic teacher organizer that Icould put on a laptop as software…not an application, that meets my personal needs, but the 7 plus years of searching for one, it has been very elusive.

Does anyone have any ideas on an electronic organizer for teachers thatis useable by classroom teachers?  I would welcome any recommendations.

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