1. Change Your BoardsNothing makes me happier at the end of the day to erase the day's date and write tomorrow's date on the board! On my front board, I also list the tasks my students complete each morning and display our daily schedule. On the side board, I list our learning objectives for each subject.
2. Write Your Morning MessageMy class holds a morning meeting every day, and one of the components is to write the class a message for the day. I'm embarrassed to admit I have frantically written this message while my students were completing their morning work, just a few minutes before morning meeting starts. So now, I make sure I write my morning message for the next day before I go home. That way, I make sure to include everything I want to say AND it's legible!
3. Stuff MailboxesHave you ever realized 10 minutes before dismissal that you forgot to put the math homework in mailboxes, and then frantically try to stuff mailboxes AND dismiss your class? I have. More times than I care to say... So every night before I go home, I stuff mailboxes: papers I'm passing back, homework, notes from the office, etc. I keep a tray on top of my mailboxes where I put the papers so that I'm not wandering around my classroom, trying to remember where I put that stack of papers...
4. Answer/Write EmailsI hate notifications, and I am not one of those teachers that lets 2,491 unread emails pile up in my inbox. So I always take a few minutes to respond and write to parents, admin, and other teachers before I leave.
5. Clean Off Your DeskI don't claim to be Miss Organization whatsoever, but I do straighten up my teacher table a bit before I go home.
For some reason, I always find 187 pens/pencils/markers and 12 pairs of scissors on my teacher table, among MANY other things. This was all the JUNK I found on my table today...
Depending on how organized you are, you could even take this a step further. A teacher friend of mine leaves her desk every single night with everything a sub would need in the event one of her kids gets sick and she has to call in. Now that is NOT me AT ALL, but maybe it would work for you!
In all, it takes me about 20-30 minutes to do all of these things (depending on how many emails I have to write!). But it saves me a huge amount of stress when I come in the next morning, especially on Mondays. And it allows me to settle in when I arrive and not run around like a crazy person.
What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!