Organizing Teachers

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With summer fast approaching, this can be an ideal time of year for marketing to teachers and others who work in the school system. Between school years is the perfect time for them to get organized, either at home or in the classroom.

Classroom

Teachers, especially at the elementary school level, tend to accumulate a lot of craft supplies, books, lesson ideas, and other items they might find useful in the future, especially with reduced budgets. Of course, none of these items are of any value if they can’t put their hands on them when they need them, so they need your guidance to help them identify what they really need to keep, as well as your expertise to organize things efficiently.

Ideally, you’ll be working with the teacher in his or her classroom, but many bring their materials home with them over the summer. Since they are usually quickly tossed into bags and boxes, just sorting things out can be a huge job. I once worked with a teacher whose home office was filled with bags and boxes of lesson plans, pamphlets from school trips, and other materials she’d brought home from school over the course of the year. It took a couple of days of sorting and purging before I even realized there was a desk under there!

Organizing classroom materials at the teacher’s house presents another challenge, in that you can’t place things in their permanent homes. Instead, you have to treat it like a moving job, making sure that all boxes are clearly labelled as to their contents and where they should be placed once they’re returned to the school.

Check out Organizing Teacher, a blog by teacher Valerie McInall, for some insight into organizing teachers.

Since teachers have most of the summer off, it’s also a great time for them to focus on getting organized personally!

To tap into this market, be sure to start promoting your services well before the end of the school year. Start by contacting anyone you know who works at a school or school board. Consider offering to go in to do a Lunch & Learn about getting organized, and do a draw for a tips booklet or a gift certificate to generate interest. You should definitely hand out flyers, possibly including a special offer. Even if you’re not comfortable public speaking, or if you’re unable to schedule a speaking session, ask if you can leave some flyers at the school to be distributed to the staff or posted in the lunch room. I’ve attached a flyer I used one year to give you some ideas. If you don’t have the time or creative abilities to design your own flyer, please feel free to contact me; I’d love to be of assistance.

If you’ve got any great tips for working with or marketing to teachers, please share them in the Comments section below.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks
Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar Daniella on March 12, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Janet,

    I was a primary teacher for 15 years, and loved organizing my classroom. Whether it was different areas of the room, bookshelves, files, binders, cabinets, WHATEVER, I loved organizing. I also love to put those cute little file folder work centers and games together. Some of them are straight from books, and all I have to do is cut pieces out, laminate, put directions in, …. I did this for a teacher friend of mine last year, and she was greatly appreciative. I also organized her bookshelves, teacher binders and cabinets for her. I attempted her file cabinets, but her system made no sense to me (if she even had one).

    I would really like to start a teacher organizing business, and have thought about this over the past year or so. However, I tried advertising in some local school districts, but they have a “No Business Advertising” policy. I tried posting a flier in a work room at a school where I subbed, but I got in trouble for that one. It crossed that policy line. I know one of the local school principals, so I gave him a flyer directly and asked if he could make an announcement or something to his teachers or to the district, but he said the problem is that money is too tight.

    THAT’S my problem. I’d love to work for/with teachers, but we’re so underpaid that no one can afford to hire someone to help in their classroom! So the clientele doesn’t exactly exist! All my friends say this is the PERFECT job for me, BUT teachers can’t afford it.

    Do you have any ideas or suggestions for me? Where I can start, how to get the word out (without getting in trouble), what I would charge, or simply whether or not it’s a career I should start if the clientele is too poor to hire someone like me?! If I could get the word out to teachers BEFORE summer, I’d be thrilled! Some districts don’t allow the teacher access to their classroom over the summer, but I could technically meet with a teacher (or 2) before school’s out, and help them figure out what things they/I can take home to organize over the summer, like files or folders for Day 1.

    I could post something on my personal Facebook page so word gets around the local “teacher world” but I don’t know exactly what to post.

    Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated because I really have my heart set on this. It’s the one thing I can do REALLY WELL.

    Thanks so much!
    Daniella
    East Bay Area, CA

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Networking and word-of-mouth are usually much more effective ways of reaching potential clients than advertising. Take advantage of this by reaching out to your contacts in the field and letting them know what you’re planning to do. Some of them may be interested, and if not, you can at least ask them to share your information with their colleagues. Ask the friend that you helped last year for referrals and/or a recommendation.

      Pricing and evaluating the feasibility of this as a business for you are really beyond my level of expertise, but I’m wondering whether you might consider broadening your market to include other types of organizing as well?

      There are a number of coaches who specialize in working with professional organizers, and you don’t always have to commit to a long-term program. Try googling “laser coaching for professional organizers” and see what comes up.

      Good luck!

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