Brenda Keen is a first year teacher and has taught at a school for students with Emotional Disabilities and is now placed at a country continuation school in Sacramento, CA. She is teaching with an Intern Credential as she finishes graduate school. Even though she had a supportive advisor from her graduate program she found herself struggling with organization, lesson planning, as well as managing student grades. Brenda was trained on how to use Organized Binder at her previous school and when she first was introduced to the system she thought, "Oh great!! Another thing to do." However she soon realized that "Organized Binder a very useful tool for my students and myself." Brenda's previous school as well as her current placement are Organized Binder Schools and following the summer training at Leo Palmiter High School Brenda became an Organized Binder Certified Teacher.
"I have always believed that a student needs to be taught how to be a student before they can be a student. Knowing the struggles that many students, especially students with disabilities have, I understand where they need to go. The idea has been to have a backwards chain and figure out how to get them where they need to be. It all starts with knowing how to be a student!
I found that as the system was implemented and became more of "just what we do" the social environment in my class began to grow. My students had a sense of connectedness to the class, we were all doing the same thing so they knew they belonged. This included me, I was doing it to. As a teacher, I have all these ideas and plans in my head of how to meet the learning objectives based on the students needs for that day or moment. I struggled with getting them written down. Again, I figured I need to work backwards to get where I needed to be to set the example for the students. As I created the "Master Binder" I found that I became more organized and was able to track grades more efficiently and in appropriate times, saving me time and work because it was all there. In addition, it became easy to get lessons in a lesson plan book. The system became an overall point of reference for me and my students.
Thank you for introducing me to a system that was one of my supports through my internship.