Saturday, August 23, 2014

Are you a Together Teacher?

So I just completed my second week of 4th grade! I am finally able to spend some time to get together my blog and start on my first blog post! Woo-hoo! I'm finally entering hte world of teacher blogger and and even MORE teacherpreneurs. 

But enough about that....I'm wondering if you've ever heard of, or attended a professional development training called The Together Teacher. I went to their 3 hour session over the summer, and was at first super skeptical. I was presented with a pretty thick book on how to be organized, along with a special ziploc bag full of tabs with labels and overly clinical terms like "Weekly Organizer", "Comprehensive Calendar" and "Thought Catcher". 

I admit I'm not the most organized teacher before this training. My process has been to write it on a post-it, and feel the satisfaction of balling it up and throwing it away whenever something is complete. I am also a digital nerd, so hate hauling (not to mention paying upwards of 50 bucks) a planner around. What if I lose it? What if a kid in class throws up on it? I've always been comfortable with my phone, post its scattered around and finally my brain to keep all my thoughts "organized." 

After about 20 minutes in the training, I slowly became a convert. Once I was told I had to stop using post-its I seriously contemplated walking out, but glad I stayed. During the training you are introduced to 'The Flexy Friend' - a customizable planner that's a lot cheaper and meant for you to tailor things to your needs. I decided it was time for me to be a real adult with a real adult planner. Nevermind that my planner was actually called a Flexy Friend. 

After a few weeks of making a habit to carry my Flexy everywhere, to every possible meeting and PD (meaning I was often seen running back to my classroom to get my Flexy), I really got the hang of the whole system that The Together Group has in place. 

I don't follow all steps exactly as they have outlined, and eventually replaced my Flexy Friend with something a little more fashionable

 A customizable disc-bound notebook that you can also use with the ARC system at Staples. I have even made in the past few days to make an effort to start color coding, and tabbing sections in my notebook. Big change from my pile of post-it days! (Don't tell the crew at Together Group, but I STILL use post-its in the classroom though - I can't quite let them go completely!)

As most of you have started your school year, I would love to hear your organization system you are going to implement this year? Are you a paper person? Digital? A hybrid mix? Or do you stick with post-its and prayers to remember mental notes? 

And if you're interested in learning more about The Together Teacher organization system, they have a FREE online PD session on Coursera that is definitely worth looking into!

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