What to throw out at the end of the year, and what to keep
Last day of term next week, my desks at school and at home are overflowing with paper. What can I throw out?
Probably more than you think! Last time I moved house I discovered that I still had the lecture notes from when I was a Senior Lecturer at a university, teaching B.Ed students, thirty years previously. And, naughty me, I still had my markbook.
So that’s the first task: get any personal data about students and deal with that.
Hard copies of all data that has been entered into some school database should always be returned to the school office for disposal. As for your personal markbook, think whether you really need to keep it for next year, or could get rid of that too.
If you do get rid of it, that means through the shredder, not just in a waste bin. If you keep it, have it somewhere at school, not at home, as that is not secure storage.
If you are a head of year, or even a form tutor, and have notes on individual students or meetings with parents, it’s a good idea to keep these for at least a year after the student has left the school, in case there are any queries.
Ask what the school policy is on storing these.
Again, it should not be at home but somewhere at school.
But I guess that most of the pile of paper will be learning materials, although you might luck out and find a winning Euromillions ticket. Now's a good time to start reviewing your materials from the past year, and decide which changes you need to make for next year, while you still remember what worked and what didn't!
Be fairly brutal here. Things that you remember just didn’t work at all need to be jettisoned. Things that need some tweaking can be kept, but put them in a separate pile and write on them in red marker pen 'needs revision' and mark what revision needs to be done. Things that were really good can be filed away ready for next year.
And how about putting them into the TES Resources too, for other people to benefit?
Earmark a specific day early on in the holiday to revise the material that needs tweaking. Then you’ll get the job over and done with and can feel virtuous as you upload all the revised versions to your on-line storage. You might want to leave the organising into the different yeargroup or topic binders for a rainy day in the holidays, because that would be quite a pleasant way to look forward to next year.
And if at the bottom of the pile you find that piece of Year 10 coursework that Jason swore he handed in and you swore you had never received, start preparing that apology now.