Get Organized: Time Spent Now, Pays Later

I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the year.  I love the freedom of nearly three months of time off.  I hate having three months of time off after July 4th.  I love finally getting my classroom/studio/office clean.  I hate cleaning.

OK, you get it.  If you are a media/journalism teacher, then you probably understand what I mean.  During the school year, it seems like we drift from one crisis to the next.  Yearbook deadlines, video projects, shows, newspaper issues, etc.  Lots to do, lots to do.  It seems like the classroom is always a little bit disordered as is your office – sometimes more than a little bit.

Today was the last day of school!  Checkout list, graduation practice, pickup the kids, seniors buying last minute yearbooks, cleaning, staff lunch, more cleaning, phone never stopped ringing, grades due, and more cleaning.

I am still printing grades – at home 7:00 pm.  My check out list is not finished.  But I’m happy – we sold about six books today.  More than $300 closer to breaking even.

But the point of this post is getting organized.  Most summers I do not unhook all of our computer gear.  We clean the keyboards, check the cables, blow out the dust and wipe the screens.  Then put them away for the summer right on their tables.  But this summer the tables are supposed to get new tops.  Hoping!  So, all the computers had to be taken apart (mouse unplugged in box A, keyboards unplugged in box B, etc.).  It took a lot of time, but all the cables were put away neatly and all the equipment, like the Kensington locks were labled so that the key to each lock is easy to find.  It was nearly 5 pm before I left school today, then realizing I left my laptop charger at school, hit the road and went right back.

I was a little mad, but I know all the organizing will pay off in the fall.

I also updated all the system software and even installed 1.5 GB of RAM into an older Silver G4.  It will be our show machine for recording video projects next year.  The upgrade from OS X 10.2 to 10.4 and the RAM upgrade from 512 MB to 2.0 GB will really give it some more life.  I’m thinking of buying a 1TB firewire drive for it to store video too.  This will really give the old workhorse some new life.  The machine has been our server for the last four years running OSX server very well.  But it was older and slower than almost every Mac in the classroom now.

I also spent this last week color coding all the video equipment.  Most of it was already done, but several items did not have proper color coded tape on them.  Now it all does and is all put away properly for the summer.

I also took all the batteries out of the remotes and the cameras.  This is important so they don’t go bad and ruin a remote or camera.  On Monday I will make our final deposit of yearbook money and make sure the books are in order.  So, even though school is out, a media teacher’s work is never done.

Lots to do, lots to do!  (maybe a Harry Potter marathon next week!)