Your students are unique — and some are a little less organizationally inclined than the rest! While disorganized students can cause (and feel) plenty of frustration, getting mad won’t help matters. Instead, you need to focus on giving them the support they need to succeed.
While there are many variables at play, and you can’t account for them all, the following 5 tips could make a difference for your kids, whether they’re naturally disorganized or always running a tight ship.
1. Establish Clear Routines and Procedures
Ever had a moment where you got overwhelmed and things felt so out of control, you couldn’t even think straight? We’ve all been there, and in those moments, we tend to fall back on habits and routines to see us through.
Naturally disorganized students might not be in a constant state of crisis, but on some level, their brains are overwhelmed. When you and your staff establish clear routines and procedures, you provide all students with the behaviors they can default to. Hopefully, the disorganized kiddos will rely on these to carry them throughout the day and to stay on task.
2. Model Organization
You need to practice what you preach — or in this case, teach! Encourage all the adults on staff to model solid organizational habits, including clean desks, tidy files, and being on time and prepared for every occasion. Encourage teachers to talk their way through their own organizational habits in front of the kids, giving them a peek into a well-ordered mind.
3. Leave Room for Individuality
It’s easy to think that disorganized students need a roadmap to organization. But as we stated earlier, all students are unique. You have to leave room for individuality and customized approaches. Help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and guide them in finding how to lean into or work around those for the best results.
4. Withhold Judgment
From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see all the things someone else is doing wrong, and the easy fixes that could put them on the right path. But we need to remember that for our students, it isn’t so simple. Nor is it typically just a matter of being lazy.
And even if it is? Feeling shamed isn’t a big motivator for most. In fact, it’s more likely to get students to shut down or hold firm. Skip the criticism and switch to compassion when addressing struggles with organization.
5. Utilize School Planners
Student planners are a useful tool in helping kids stay organized. While they need to be incorporated into the daily routine to truly be effective, if teachers get on board with this and parents check at home, planners can keep students on schedule with homework, trips, signatures, projects, and more.
Let The School Planner Company Help Students Get Organized
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