It’s the start of the semester, which means that I am buried in paper. I hate paper for paper’s sake so much. I find that it usually just gets crammed somewhere, taking up space and not being useful. At the start of the year, I can’t turn the corner without someone shoving another sheet of dates/teaching strategies/new rules/old rule reminders at me. I used to just cram it in my bag, and then keep it somewhere “just in case,” but I’ve really started to reevaluate that strategy. What can we do with all that paper?
- Really evaluate what you need. Ask yourself- is this something I already know? Is this information somewhere else, like the school website on the LMS? Is this something I am really going to try in my classroom? Is this something I am required to keep?
- Can you scan it and store it in the cloud? (Or a jump drive?) One of the best things I ever did was to figure out how to do large batch scanning on the copy machines. I now scan and shred pretty much every document that I have to keep for whatever reason, but don’t need a specific hard copy of. Make sure to label it well so you know what it is and/or can run a search and find it quickly if you need it.
- File it, and label those files well. If you really do have to hold on to a physical copy, then file it. Go through them frequently. It’s true that we sometimes have to keep some hard copies of things for a certain amount of time. Fine. File them away in a well labeled folder, AND put a “shredder x file” into your calendar on the future date when you no longer need to hold on to something. If you’re required to keep something for say, three years, make sure you actually get rid of it three years from now. Don’t be the person who changes schools and has to drive 7 carloads of paper to the shredding place.
Free yourself from paper overload!
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