I felt pretty confident about my ability to keep up with all of the school papers going into last year, having had experience as an elementary school teacher. Boy was I wrong. Keeping track of all of the field trip permission forms, birthday party invitations, artwork, and surveys from two classrooms was mind-bogglingly difficult. I quickly put the girls in charge of those papers, and assigned them to put them in their backpacks every day before they left school and then put them in a certain spot on the kitchen counter when they got home so that I could deal with everything.
But some of the informational papers I found I needed to carry around with me in my purse: school contact information, policies for snow days and sick days, school lunch menus, and other information that I needed to have available at random times. I thought about putting them in my planner, but I found in the craziness of school life, I needed a dedicated spot to slip papers in and out and find them quickly in my purse without digging through all of my stuff.
Last year I ended up using the folders that the teachers sent home the back to school welcome packets in, but they were cheap paper folders and, with all of the wear and tear from being in my bag all year, they got pretty beaten up.
Enter my new Dollar Tree find: plastic zippered folders with a pocket on one side!
I associate each of the girls with a particular color (green and purple), so I was able to get colors close enough so that I can easily pick out the right folder from my purse. These things are so cool! They have a zippered pouch, but also have an open pocket on one side where you can store more paper.
I will be keeping any papers that I haven't dealt with yet- things that people hand me when I'm too busy to look at it or put it in the girls backpacks- in the pocket, so I can slip it in without having to open the zipper. The rest of the papers I need to keep on hand will go inside the zippered folder. The other side has no pocket, so I am planning to write the contact information for that child's classroom with wet erase marker so that I can quickly access that information without opening anything.
The folders fit nicely inside my purse and make it easy for me to find things quickly. Hopefully this way I won't have stray papers getting crumpled up in the bottom of my purse this year- I'm trying to make it as easy on myself as possible! :)
What are your tips for staying on top of school paperwork? Do you find you end up keeping some of them in your purse? Share your thoughts in the comments :)