7 Tips for Organizing a Teacher’s Desk


Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

When I walked into my first ever classroom, I was excited to set it all up! I was eager to put up amazing classroom displays and create a generally inviting classroom for my students. I really didn’t think too much about teacher desk organization.

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I started the school year with an amazing looking classroom, but my teacher desk – well it was pretty empty! All my desk had was a nice pen and pencil holder and a few stationery supplies I had brought from home! My teacher planner strategically sat in the middle of the desk with some school policies and procedures stuffed into the back of my teacher diary.

Everything was in order, until…the paperwork started coming in! My top drawer became a storage area for miscellaneous items that didn’t have a specific spot and the top of my desk was soon becoming a mountain of paperwork! I started feeling overwhelmed and couldn’t get on top of how to organize my teacher space!

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 organized space, a safe haven you can go to during breaks, before and after school! For me, an organized space led to organized thinking!

Teacher Desk Organization

Here are some of my hints and tips to get your desk/work area organized!

Weekly Organization

Using one of these drawers from Kmart, I used washi tape to jazz them up a bit and then used our Tray Labels – Stripes to add the weekday labels on the drawers. I would use these drawers to organize all of my worksheet activities for each day for the week ahead!

This not only meant I knew where the worksheets were for each day, but, if I had a substitute teacher come in, it was easy to explain where they could find the worksheets for each lesson. It also gave me the peace of mind that the substitute teacher was going to do the correct worksheet or activity with my class whilst I was away.

Assessment Organization

Assessments/trackers/checklists/student goals…all of this became a little overwhelming and I felt like I had bits and pieces all over the place! I started two main folders on my desk to ensure nothing went missing!

I had a folder for student work samples that I was collecting throughout the term or semester 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! We would have meetings with our Principal about students meeting expectations as well, so having these folders handy definitely saved a lot of time!

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 who was away absent came up and asked for any work they had missed or notes they had not received, I was scrambling through my piles of paperwork trying to find the spares!

That is where this simple idea was amazing! 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.

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 organized desk that makes it easy to grab when you need them and also easy to write on!


Task Cards Organizer

I found this amazing organizer at Kmart and thought it was a really great way to store task cards!

Use the folder to store some worthwhile task cards for different subjects. You could pull out a set of task cards for fast finishers or if you have a spare 5 minutes at the end of a lesson.

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 very handy for any substitute teachers that came in! They could just use the task cards when needed!

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

Bits and Bobs Organizer

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 used Washi tape to make it pretty and then used our Desk Name Tags – Dark Blue 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!

There you have it! Some hints and tips on how I organized 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!

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