7 Tips for Organising a Teacher’s Desk

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Are you finding that your desk is becoming more of a dumping ground for you and your students? I found when I was teaching having an organised workspace helped my mind feel more organised too! Which in turn made me feel a lot calmer and ready to tackle the day. This blog highlights some hints and tips for organising a teacher’s desk so that you can start your each school day as calm as possible!

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Teacher meditating in classroom

Shutterstock.com / Krakenimages.com

 Organising a Teacher’s Desk (#teachergoals)

Whether you are the traditional teacher desk type of person or just have a working bench area to store all of your items, I feel it is important to have an organised space, a safe haven you can go to during breaks, before and after school! For me, an organised space led to organised thinking!

Weekly Organisation

These drawers are available at a variety of stores such as Kmart or Officeworks. We used a little bit of washi tape to jazz them up a bit and used our editable Tray Labels – Stripes to add the weekday labels on the drawers. I would use these drawers to organise all of my worksheet activities for each day for the week ahead!

This #organisationhack is a great way to also check you have done all of your photocopying for the week. Another bonus, relief teachers that come into your class will have the worksheets on your desk ready to go!

Desk organisation for teacher's desk

Assessment Organisation

Assessments/trackers/checklists/student goals… all of this can become a little overwhelming and you may find you have bits and pieces all over the place! I started two main folders on my desk to ensure nothing went missing! I had my assessment trackers in one folder. We have a huge range of Australian Curriculum Assessment Trackers that would work perfectly!

I also had a folder for student work samples that I was collecting throughout the term to refer to when report writing and carrying out parent/teacher interviews or to display in student portfolios. Having these folders with everything together made the reporting period so much less stressful! Also, we would have meetings with our Principal about students meeting expectations as well, so having these folders handy definitely saved a lot of time.

Teacher desk organisation goals

Spare Notes and Worksheets

I found that spare notes and worksheets that had been handed out were often just sitting in a pile on my desk… somewhere! If a student was absent one day and came up to me the next day asking for notes or missed work, I was scrambling through my piles of paperwork trying to find the spares!

Not anymore… with this simple idea!

Any spares for the week would be clipped here and it made life so much easier. Students were able to collect the worksheets and notes themselves by unclipping them from the hanger. Winning!

Tips for teacher organisation

Clipboard Notice Boards

One of my colleagues did this on her desk and I really liked how accessible timetables, class lists or simple reminder notes were! I bought these clipboards from Kmart for $3 each, such a great addition to an organised desk that makes it easy to grab when you need them and also easy to write on!

Teacher desk organisation

Task Cards Organiser

The storage of classroom resources is one that is never-ending. But, once you find something that totally works – you roll with it! This folder was one of them for me. The perfect way to organise any task cards that you may have sorted into subject areas.

This definitely made my life a lot easier! I would have this easily accessible on my desk so that I could just grab the folder, find the subject I was working on and pick a task or activity that linked in well. This was also perfect for any relief teachers that came in!

Check out our huge collection of classroom task cards for some ideas and inspiration.

Task card storage for the classroom

Bits and Bobs Organiser

It happens and it happens very quickly. You soon have drawers full of all those bits and bobs that you seem to collect as a teacher. Then, when you want a particular item…you can’t find it!! That is where this amazing storage idea comes in handy! I bought this set of small drawers from Bunnings.

I used Washi tape to make it pretty and then used our Desk Name Tags – Watercolour printed two to a page to get the right size for the drawer labels. You choose what would best go into the drawers for your classroom! I found having band-aids easily accessible, spare whistles, thumbtacks, rubber bands, push pins and paper clips were a definite must!

Teacher desk storage

There you have it! Some hints and tips on how I organised my teacher desk and ultimately felt more at ease in the classroom. Obviously, we are all different in what works for us. But using these ideas definitely made me feel in more control during my first year of teaching.

Share your hints and tips for organisation in the comments below.

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Comments & feedback

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These are great tips! I loved all of the task cards that o could have on hand!

Emma · Dec 25th, 2018

Thank you for your lovely comment. I am so glad you are enjoying our resources.

Kristian · Dec 27th, 2018

Hello, I was wondering if you could please give an outline of the inside of your student work sample folder and assessment tracker. Are they divided into subject areas or a pocket for each student? Also as a graduate teacher I was wondering if there is any advice you can give for organising daily/ weekly activities as well as a system to store all reading group/ math group information?

Sarah Nisi · Dec 16th, 2017

Hi Sarah,
You might find these blog articles and collections helpful:
Assessment trackers collection: https://www.teachstarter.com/teaching-resource-collection/australian-curriculum-assessment-trackers/
How to Set up Guided Reading in the Classroom: https://www.teachstarter.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-guided-reading-session/
68 Ideas and Tips for Setting Up Maths Rotations in the Classroom: https://www.teachstarter.com/blog/68-ideas-tips-setting-maths-rotations-classroom/.
I hope the above blog articles and resource collections help out a bit?

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jan 11th, 2018

Dear Holly,

I am commencing my first year of teaching at the commencement of 2018. I am very keen to get a box for my desk similar to the one you have that is for staples etc. I was in Bunnings earlier in the week and was looking for something similar and was not able to spot one… do you by chance recall the name/brand or could you recommend one similar?
Regards,
Laura

Laura McCreanor · Dec 6th, 2017

Hi Laura,

How exciting about commencing teaching! Congratulations!

I was in my local bunnings only the other week and saw the drawers.

Here is a link to them on the Bunnings website – https://www.bunnings.com.au/handy-storage-20-drawer-compartment-organiser_p2580808. YHo.

Perhaps you could do a ring around to some of the bunnings closest to you to check stock levels? Good luck!

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Dec 7th, 2017

Would you be able to give a sneak peek at the inside of your assessment tracker folder? Trying to organise my own and having difficulties working out the best way to manage it all!

Pru Dubokovich · Aug 14th, 2017

I’m just wondering what font you used for your labels?
I’m currently a Teacher Aide but am looking to go back to get my teaching degree (10 years ago I did 2.5 years of it!) And I just can’t help myself but look up teacher things haha… it’s meant to be I think 😉

Candice Kemp · Jul 17th, 2017

Hi Candice,

The font I used on the labels was Sassoon Primary. This is available in our label creator widget! Check it out! https://www.teachstarter.com/widget/label-creator/.

Goodluck with your study!
Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jul 17th, 2017

Fantastic blog, thanks Holly. Lots of great ideas that I look forward to using ?
Kylie

Kylie Wynne · Jun 5th, 2017

You’re most welcome Kylie! So glad you have found some ideas you can use!
Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jun 6th, 2017

Great ideas, I especially like the daily worksheet organiser & it looks good too ?

Dorothy Clark · Jun 4th, 2017

Hi Dorothy,

Thanks for your lovely comment! The worksheet organiser was my life saver when I was teaching! Couldn’t recommend it enough!

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jun 5th, 2017

These ideas are great! I’m going to do the daily drawers for sure. Also, how did you do the lovely triangle borders on your timetables and folder labels?

Robyn Stickland · Jun 4th, 2017

I just found the flag labels in the resources…yay!

Robyn Stickland · Jun 4th, 2017

Hi Robyn,

Thanks for your lovely comment! So glad this blog has some useful ideas for you to use in the classroom.

I used the pastel flags classroom theme pack – https://www.teachstarter.com/teaching-resource/pastel-flags-classroom-theme-pack/.

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jun 4th, 2017

Love those drawers for all the Bits and Bobs we collect!! Might need to go and have a wee look at Bunnings I think!!

Michelle Wilkinson · Jun 1st, 2017

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your kind feedback!

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jun 4th, 2017

As a person who likes to be tidy, I would be sad that each term, the only time my desk would be tidy was at the beginning and end. These ideas would help me to keep my desk tidy and organised throughout the term as well. Thanks.

Robyn Archer · May 27th, 2017

Hi Robyn,

I am so glad this blog has given you some inspiration!

Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Jun 4th, 2017

I’ll use your ideals this coming school year.
Thanks

Shirley Johnson · May 26th, 2017

Thanks for your comment Shirley! So glad these ideas will be useful to you!
Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · May 26th, 2017


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