As we roll into the end of a semester of teaching, students and teachers alike are itching for a much-needed break from the past months. It’s time to breathe and reset our mind, body, and spirit by walking away from our day to day tasks and celebrating the season with friends and family.
Part of my daily routine in our home is that every evening before we go to bed, the dishes are done, the dishwasher is running, coffee is made, and lunches are packed so the morning goes smoothly.
I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy start to the day.
After the morning gets moving and my husband is off to work, I clean up breakfast dishes, tidy up blankets and such from the night before, make the bed, and prep dinner so when we arrive home from work the evening goes smoothly.
I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy end to the day.
When we go on vacation we like to make sure the house is clean and picked up, trash is taken out, dishes are completely done and put away, the refrigerator is as empty as possible, and there’s something frozen in the freezer to eat if needed when we return.
We prep and reset the house for a welcome and relaxing return.
Before you close the door to your studio to reset the teacher in you, I would like to encourage you to take a little time to reset your workspace so when you return, you can hit the ground running in a fresh environment. It feels so good!
Here are a few areas to pay attention to before you hang up your teacher hat.
Tidy Up Your Teaching area
- Put everything back in its place. You may even play around with rearranging items to see if you can find a better workflow.
- Take inventory of and order stickers, post-its, refills of pens, pencils, erasers, etc.
- Sharpen up any pencils you have, be sure all the pens are closed.
- Close all piano lids and push in the benches.
- Download new assignment sheets or update your old ones for the new semester. Have a fresh set printed and ready to go. (I find using new sheets each semester refreshing. There are plenty to pick from on Assignment Sheet Central!)
BEFORE – AFTER
BEFORE – AFTER
I know, I know, this drawer really isn’t that bad to start with but it’s what I had to work with at the time. 🙂
BEFORE – AFTER
*Psst. In case you’re wondering, my rolling file drawer which I have found to be absolutely perfect for teaching is available on Amazon here.
Tidy up your Work Area
- Grab some cheap containers at your local Dollar store to help separate items like paperclips, coins, and rubber bands.
- Buy a “For Deposit Only” stamp for all those checks (I’m still old school on payments) or refill the ink on your old one.
- Stock up on stamps and postcards for student birthdays. Address and stamp all the postcards that need to go out for the upcoming semester. (See the post Marketing with Postcards: It’s Not What You Think.)
- Replenish your printer paper and cardstock inventory. Buy paper in bulk to save money and avoid having to grab a new ream every month at the store.
- Wrap things up – clear away all those piles. Either finish it, put it away, or gather what’s there into a neat stack so it doesn’t look so overwhelming when you return.
BEFORE – after
See the set of 6 brown drawers on my work table? Those drawers house all my office supplies.
tidy Up Your Student Area
- Stock up on paper towel, kleenex, sanitizer, bathroom cleaners, and all those office supplies we talked about earlier.
- Wrap up headphones and put away anything that might have to do with student lab assignments.
- Take inventory of and order incentive prizes as needed. Even tidying up your prize boxes can help resurface items that may have been overlooked by students.
Before – After
Tidy Teacher = Happy Teacher
You don’t have to spend hours tidying your space, sometimes just a quick 5-15 minute power pick-up can make a world of difference.
Your future self will thank you.
Stay tuned for more Tidy Teacher Tips coming in 2018!