Today I spent a few hours organizing for next year — creating the appropriate folders and creating/updating mailing lists. The process is interesting, because I think that the way one organizes their desktop, or their mail folders, or anything, reveals a lot about the person. How they view their world, how they compartmentalize it.
For the following year, this is my email directory structure:
Clearly you can see that I save a lot of emails; I’m a packrat in the electronic world as well as the material world. I’m definitely a natural archiver, because I have no memory and I need things written down to refer to. But there’s another reason why archiving email is important: you have written proof that certain things got done.
“You never told us X,” a student or parent or dean or someone might say.
“Actually, I told you that! See this here?” I will respond.
(This actually happened last year, when a parent said they were never informed of their child’s poor performance; I had two archived emails that specifically were sent to inform the parents of that fact.)
Maybe this should be a meme. If you care too, share on your blog how you organize your school-related email? What do you save? Why do you save?
*This is a new addition! I read about it on some blog and thought it was a great idea.
**I did this last year, and it was super useful. Every email to and from a particular student gets put in their individual subfolder. Also every email about these students (communication with other teachers, with deans, with parents, with the SFJC) gets put in these folders. Then, when I need to pull up information on a student, I have not only my gradebook, but in this folder, a lot of other information about them. Sometimes, when writing my narrative comments on students, I would quote them if they said something relevant. (As my school is a laptop school, you can see that we get a lot of email to/from/about students.)