I’ve been covering for a colleague for the last four months, which has been interesting in lots of ways. One of the things that she handed over was they way she organises her paperwork.
I remember when I was interviewed for this job; one of the questions was “There is a lot of paperwork involved in working as a peri music teacher; lesson planning, registers, contact details and so on. How do you think you will store this?” I was baffled by the question, and gave it careful consideration before tentatively suggesting “in a filing system at home?” as an answer. Where was the trap? Surely the answer was obvious? They smiled and nodded. I had got it right, there was no trap.
Once I started the job, I nearly drowned in paperwork. I’ve gone through several different methods over the years, and my colleagues is one of the best. She has a clear plastic wallet for each school, with the register, planning sheets and contact details for all the pupils at that school. Every morning, I just picked up the wallets for the day, shoved them in the black bag,
and I was done. I did add extra copies of music for the two keyboard players who NEVER brought their music, and syllabus sheets as I am unfamiliar with the requirements for Trinity cello exams or ABRSM viola exams but her system is brilliantly simple.
I don’t teach so many instrumental or class lessons these days, so I have now slimmed it down to a
- shiny red notebook for all my day-by-day lesson planning, and short record of each lesson
- wallets in the style of my colleague for the two places where I do instrumental teaching
- a couple of display books packed with the term overview and resources for class music teaching
- an overloaded wallet with material for the private piano teaching at a particular school (but the lesson records go in the red notebook)
The system is working; I just pick up the wallets/books for the day and put them in the black bag, check that the shiny red notebook is there, add my piano teaching pack and off I go. The samba whistle, ocarina and a few stuffed toys are permanent occupants of the bag, and my repinique and cheapo ukulele live in the car.
I’ll be fine, so long as I have remembered my lunch – but, just in case, a packet of cup soups and a box of instant porridge also lives in the car!