Sharon’s Space Transformation

Nov 14, 2014

This summer in California’s Bay Area, I met Sharon, an incredible school leader. Her meeting agendas are amazing (more on that later!), she’s all about instruction, and she has a wicked sense of humor.

Sharon, however, was plagued by one thing: a somewhat disastrous workspace. I’m not actually too bothered by space mess, until it gets in the way of accomplishing what you want or causes you stress. See my previous post on my own home and the Tale of Two Closets.

Sharon took a few very easy steps to overhaul her office space for efficiency, effectiveness and less stress!

Here’s Sharon’s take on the BEFORE state of her office:

There was a HUGE stack of papers in my ‘inbox’ and it was not uncommon for me to misplace a paper here. Reference papers that are now posted above my desk on the cork board were in files and hard to access.

I wish we had a picture, but Sharon moved so quickly that we couldn’t even snap a shot!

Operation Unbury Sharon started with two concrete tasks:

1. Dismantle “inbox” and create folders

Sharon describes,

I use these folders to catch papers that I want to have readily available when I meet with a particular group of people.  This keeps me from having to write notes about things I need to bring up in those meetings. I’m also using time more efficiently and talking to teams at pre-designated times, instead of having to chase people down or email them about individual issues.

Here’s a quick key to Sharon’s color-coding:

  • Green = Staff
  • Yellow = Staff teams I meet with throughout the week
  • Orange = Parent teams & forms
  • Blue = Student teams & forms


2. Set up massive bulletin boards for reference items

Right above her paper files, Sharon has created a huge bulletin board to hold materials she frequently references or needs to keep front and center.

What she posts on her board:

  • Weekly Calendar
  • Daily Schedules for each grade level
  • Specials Rotations
  • Annual Calendar
  • School Directory
  • Academic Reference (reading level expectations, content units, assessment calendar, etc.)
  • Observation Schedule
  • Annual Strategies/Priorities
  • A great letter from a student
  • A few pictures from home

Let’s applaud the final result!

Sharon, thanks for showing us how a clean-up can be simple, efficient, and lead to a great result!