One of the biggest challenges of being a student teacher is staying organized. Student teachers have a considerable amount of information to keep track of on a daily basis, especially when they start coming up with lesson plans on their own and using them in the classroom. The following free tools can help student teachers organize their notes, lesson plans, learning material, schedule, supplies and more, so they can make the most of their teaching experience.
Empty containers. When it comes to keeping supplies organized, student teachers don’t have to spend money on bins, boxes and holders at the store. Instead, empty containers from home can be repurposed for the classroom. For example, empty tissue boxes can be used for holding loose items that student teachers need to use on a regular basis. These items, such as rubber bands, pens, storage bags or binder clips, can end up tidying up a messy pile in or under a student teacher’s desk or work area. Keeping them in one handy place makes them easy to reach without creating a mess. Mason jars and potato chip cans are also free and useful tools that can be used for organizing all kinds of supplies, including art supplies and rolled up posters.
Household items. Student teachers can make use of common household items that they no longer need at home. Dish drying racks make an effective place for holding folders, notebooks or art projects in place. Vases can be used to hold pencils, markers and other classroom supplies that will be needed daily. Other types of household items that can help student teachers stay organized include muffin tins and baskets. These items can be used to hold supplies that student teachers need to reach easily or supplies for students to use in the classroom.
Apps for notes and news items. Free apps for mobile phones and tablets can provide student teachers with valuable tools to stay organized when they’re not in the classroom. Student teachers can download and use these apps during prep time or at home while preparing for the next day’s lessons. Apps such as Evernote and Google Docs make it easy for student teachers to save and work on documents and keep notes neat and organized. These documents and notes can be quickly accessed when needed, making them a convenient tool for student teachers to use. Other apps, such as Newsify and Pocket, give teachers a convenient way to save news items and other online content that they might want to use in lesson plans.
Apps for schedules. Apps such as Allcall and Google Calendar offer simple ways to keep scheduled events and projects organized. Student teachers can keep track of after school functions, faculty meetings, class projects and other events, and set up reminders for them on their phone or tablet.
Apps for state standards. Student teachers can also make use of free apps that contain state standards for education. Apps by MasteryConnect, such as State Standards, offer a simple tool that allows student teachers to access information for different grades or different subjects. With Missouri adopting new standards after moving away from Common Core, this is an important tool for student teachers to have.
Putting these free tools to use can make a big difference in how smoothly the student teaching experience goes. Being able to easily access information and supplies helps student teachers save time and energy, so they can focus more effectively on connecting with students and passing knowledge on to them.