Organise Your Desk

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
Read more about Hanna Beech

How can you organise your desk effectively?

Teacher desks are mountains of paper and junk! Is your desk drowning in letters from parents, pupils’ work, to do lists, staff meeting notes, policies and paper for paper’s sake?

Dazzling Desk

With such a non-stop stream of things going on, it’s no wonder a teacher’s desk becomes full to the brim. Try this method to get your desk dazzling in no time!

  • Use a set of five desk drawers or in-trays.
  • Label them: To Do, To Read, To Keep, To File, To Store.
  • To Do: Things that need action from you, e.g. forms, letters, lists etc.
  • To Read: Things to cast your eye over, e.g. policies, research, articles etc.
  • To Keep: Important documents which you will use soon, e.g. parents’ evening times, risk assessments etc.
  • To File: Things that just need to be filed away, e.g. notes from a meeting, data analysis etc.
  • To Store: Either keepsakes or things want to throw away, but not in front of people) e.g. pictures from pupils, cards etc.
  • Once a week, set aside ten minutes to go through each tray/drawer, responding accordingly to the paper work inside.

Why is this a good strategy?

Having specific areas for different documents saves you having to trawl through a huge pile of muddled paperwork when you need something and also means clearing a backlog of paper becomes far quicker.


Always try to find time to sort out your desk before the end of the day. There is nothing worse than starting the day with a drowning desk!

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