- Is ‘being organised’ an innate personal attribute, or is it a skill that can be learned?
- Do you consider yourself an organised person?
- Does it even really make that much difference to being successful in a teaching career?
Only one of the answers is straightforward, and that is a definite ‘Yes’ to the last one. We’ll discuss that more further down.
As to the first question: in common with most attributes, some people will be more temperamentally inclined to seek and establish order and organisation, while others are less bothered by chaos or rely on the more spontaneous resolution of problems. However, everyone can learn to be more organised when needed, which helps answer the second question above.
Being an organised person is not an all or nothing situation. Many of us have areas in our lives where we are supremely organised and other areas where mess and chaos may reign. Think about where you live; is your work desk pristine, but your clothes are all over the place? Are you compelled to keep your sitting room neat as a pin but overlook the mess in the kitchen?
The key to organisation is about maintaining personal levels of comfort and control. Some people struggle to control their physical environments to the extent that they become stressed or paralysed by disorganisation and clutter, which becomes a real problem.
This organisation can assist with organising; even if you are not chronically disorganised, you may find some useful suggestions and resources.
Is it important or even necessary to be well organised to succeed as a teacher? Consider the following scenarios:
What do you think was negatively impacted by Andrew’s failure to organise this activity ahead of time?
• The students’ learning
• Effective classroom management
• Andrew’s professional reputation
• Andrew’s well-being
Go back to the list above to consider the impact of this kind of disorganisation – would it be the same? Would you add or subtract any of the effects? You might say this would not affect the children’s learning because Anne-Marie was committed to having everything ready for her children. But what about her reduced energy levels and her feelings of competence and self-efficacy – could that have an effect? If this kind of thing happens now and again, it’s unlikely to impact appreciably, but if it was happening regularly, it could be a different story….
Take the time now to reflect on where you think you are very organised and where possibly not so much. Think through what possible impact your lack of organisation might have on sustaining a successful teaching career. Do any areas need attention? As students, you know the importance of effectively managing your time and tasks. What tools and strategies do you use as a student that you think will help you as a professional educator?