Is Organization a Necessity?

Here is the question that has been on my mind lately:

Do you have to be organized in order to be an “effective” or “good teacher” ?

I know teachers who are highly unorganized, and their life seems like chaos, looks like chaos and the classroom management is horrible. It make some think this teacher would be a whole lot more effective if they were more organized would I want my own children to have this teacher? Sadly, no…. However, this teacher is the sweetest, funniest person and really cares about the kids.  I just wonder if that is enough.

My own opinion to the question above…. is Yes. You do need to be organized on some level to be a good teacher.  A little disorganization is just fine, aren’t we all that way? When your organization skills start to impact your teaching, I think it does become a necessary skill in order to do our jobs. We get paid to teach kids and manage a lot- Organization helps do what we are expected to do, and helps us do it well.

What do you think?

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • maria

    Organization is key….key to proper lesson plan development, assessments, instruction. I always say art teachers (especially elementary) could be caters and/or air traffic controllers. I am very, very organized. In 23 years of teaching I have learned that being super organized allows students to have more actual working time. At this school I have NO minutes between classes. Everything MUST be prepped before they come in. So on counters things are laid out, paper cut, paint poured, visuals set up by grade level. All my cabinets are labeled so in a pinch things can be found quickly and easily. When there is a flow and a routine that great organization sets up for you your students see that and they feel that. It gives them a sense of security and comfort. They can count on boundaries of knowing how the art class should flow. I stress to my student teachers that without organization, each lesson will be a struggle.

  • Yes! I completely agree! We definitely have to be organized in order to our jobs effectively. I am facing those challenges right now in my own classroom. When my space in neat and organized it is easier to teach and it is easier to find all the materials I need. I also think an orderly classroom is soothing and reassuring for the children who come in and it promotes a better working environment.

  • Of course! The best teacher I ever met though appeared a disorganized mess. Her class was like a family. She was always given the toughest kids and when they were with her their personalities shined and I loved them. . . the following years when I had them (because i’m the art teacher I see them every year) they were different kids (gloomy and misbehaving.) Her room was unorganized and she was a pack rat. Because of this I believe people thought she wasn’t a good teacher. An appearance of organization is important as we are judged by the cleanliness and organization of our space. She was sent to one of the failing schools in district. If I had known this would happen, we would have all pitched in and helped. There are some people who have a gift to inspire, encourage, and turn on the light in children. I think organization has made a lot of teachers GOOD but that does not make for a GREAT teacher.

    • What an unfortunate story! You see, just like the show “What Not To Wear” we are judged on our appearance (in this case of our rooms) even if we have a heart of gold, and if we like it or not. It’s just the way the world works… I think balance is key in this case. One extreme or another is never great, in any life situation! Thanks for chiming in!

  • Allison Krook

    yikes…kind of reminds me of me!!!! although….i think i’m getting better!

  • I know it is an unfortunate thing! I think that’s why it’s great to have directors who care like you and can really assess the success of a teacher and offer Professional Development for those key things a great teacher needs help with. I admire the way you think about P.D. and would love to work with you!

    • Thanks so much! I would also love to work with you! You are so motivated and enthusiastic. I would love to offer PD for art teachers beyond the scope of my district. Maybe some day…. and when I do, I’ll let you know!

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