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Planning and Time Management

I've been a bit frazzled lately. I feel like I'm constantly running around at school and I don't have time to get my head on straight. When I sit down to work on planning the next day's lessons, or creating materials, I get sidetracked by other things that I *know* must be done while I am at school. I then leave the rest of the planning and creating for time over the weekend or at home. I'm not really liking that strategy.

I know that, as a teacher, it is almost innate within me to bring work home and to think about work when I am not actually working. I seriously think it's in our genes or something. What I don't like, though, is that I feel ineffective in the time I do have at school. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to manage planning time more effectively? How to use resources available online and from textbooks to develop lessons without feeling like you're recreating the wheel every time you make notes for a new topic?

I'm at the beginning of year number 2, and of the 4 classes that I teach, 2 are new to me (one is new to the school). I'm trying not to rely on the textbook so heavily, and trying to develop more activities and less worksheets to teach concepts, but it's a process. I'm also trying to go from primarily guided notes in Algebra 1 to a mix in Algebra 2, and teaching my calculus student how to take notes himself (this whole process is made much more difficult in a signing environment, because students cannot listen and write at the same time).

Comments

  1. Hey Jessica,
    I have the same problem, so I don't know if my advice is all that credible, but here's what I'm trying.

    I have time blocked out in the morning, before school starts, for planning. This way it's too early for me to really be worrying about the "have to get it done" stuff, and I don't have to do it when I'm tired from teaching.

    I'm also trying to shift towards staying late after school in order to leave with everything done. The idea that you are not going home until you finish is a great motivator and inspires me to make better use of my time in school.

    I'm also a fan of setting specific time limits on certain tasks. People tend to let work take up as much time as they let it, so if you commit to getting something done in an hour, you make the most of that hour. Sometimes this means cutting corners a bit, but I think managing time is more important than being a perfectionist.

    Good luck!

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