As the summer winds down, I use a “Beginning of the Year” inventory to make sure that I am ready for the upcoming school year. My inventory includes three categories: supplies, documents, and to-do’s. The supplies are the physical items I should have in my classroom. The documents are mostly computerized, and include my yearly plan, unit plans, lesson plans, curriculum letter, and so on. The “to-do” list includes all of the things I need to have completed before the first day of school, including calendaring school meetings and events, putting my student rosters into an excel spreadsheet for tracking their progress (I will write about this at some point in the future), creating seating charts, and more.
As the year begins, it is a comfort to know that I am ready. However, I sometimes find that I have missed something on my inventory, and am missing supplies or didn’t have something important on the list. When that happens, I add it to the inventory along the way to make sure that I don’t forget it the following year.
I keep my Beginning of the Year Inventory in Evernote and review it in the weeks prior to the beginning of the school year. To remind myself to look at this each year, I put a reminder in Omnifocus, the task management program that I use. When I originally set up the yearly reminder, I copied the note link from Evernote (by selecting “Note” from the menu bar and then “Copy Note Link”) and pasted it in the notes section of my task so that I wouldn’t have to search for the note manually. When the task comes up in Omnifocus, I just clink on the link and the inventory opens automatically in Evernote. Of course, you could keep a similar list using a word processor as well.
Check out my Beginning of the Year Inventory note in Evernote.