Sunday, March 31, 2019

Organize your files and empower your career

Busy teachers are often left with lots and lots of lesson plans and teaching/learning references online and offline. To organize those files is one step towards streamlining your efforts to do a better job.

What's the best way to organize all these files?

I think it's best to make websites of the main topics related to your work, then nest the information within those websites.

As I think of this, I realize that I can cull my work down to the following websites and one blog:
  • Professional e-portfolio: This is a website that hosts an outline of my professional work, and a website I can use as a reference when I seek to obtain a grant, give a presentation, attend a course, or get involved in other initiatives.
  • Magnificent Math: This is my grade-level math website that hosts lots of information for teaching fifth grade math well.
  • Physical Science: Since I teach the physical science lessons at the grade-level, these are the links I use to teach that study.
  • Environmental Science/STEAM: Right now this is made up of about three websites that I want to combine.
  • Learning Mindset, Behaviors, and Habits: This is essential a social emotional learning website with lots of leads.
  • Teach Children Well: This is the story of my teaching career.
Basically these websites and this blog make up the infrastructure of my career efforts and plans--it's the schematics for what I do. These online documents are readily accessible and easy to update, and to make them as valuable as possible means that I set aside time regularly to weed and prune which means getting rid of lessons, ideas, and stories that no longer are valuable or hold true, and adding the latest and greatest items to the websites.

I'll likely do a lot of this weeding and pruning this summer in an effort to ready for the upcoming year with the best lessons, links, and resources. I call this "TV work" since it's easy to do while you watch a good movie or perhaps listen to good music.

I write this post because I believe it is very important for professionals at all levels of their work to create an online infrastructure for the work they do--a place to host the good resources, examples, connections, and links that are the building blocks of a meaningful and successful career. 

The older you get, the more you realize that every good effort matters, and what may seem like a small investment of time may actually turn out to be a substantial building block for future achievement, the kind of investment that you may actually not have time for at other points in your career and an investment that you'll look back on and use throughout your career. We can't discount any of our efforts and we have to take all of our good work seriously.

So, organize your files then regularly prune and weed them to support the good work you do today and into the future. Onward.