I really do need to work on my organization and time management skills

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Kenz501, May 13, 2017.

  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Companion

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    May 13, 2017

    Even though where I'm working right now doesn't really demand a lot out of me, I should at least start working on organizing and time management for when (or maybe at this point if) I get a "real" teaching job. I'm out of money for additional training and have taken out way too much in student loans to even consider going back to school before paying some of this off.

    Plus, teacher training programs really kind of left me in the dark about the actual day-to-day process of teaching. I take too long to plan lessons, and I'm hopelessly disorganized, so much so that I throw away lesson plans and materials after using them, forcing myself to have to reprint them every single time I want to use them again.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 13, 2017

    Are you looking more at classroom management or lesson planning skills?
     
  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Companion

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    Really, both. My lesson plans are okay, but I don't know how to keep track of them well enough to not have to constantly throw them away and rewrite them after one or two uses. I also need a consistent classroom management plan. There's a detention officer in the room with me, so nothing really gets too out of hand, but I have trouble noticing problems before they start. I have rules that kind of punish the students for being kids--no talking without permission, no getting up without permission, etc., but it's to prevent much bigger problems, like bullying and fights due to gossip.

    Also, my people skills just aren't very good in this environment. Maybe it is due to all of the disorganization.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    There is a subforum here on classroom management. Normally people sift through the most recent posts, but you might want to delve into the archives and look for things that work. Personally, I'm a huge advocate of Love and Logic, even in the alternative drop-out / credit recovery school where I teach. You might find something that works for you.

    As for lesson planning, my biggest suggestion is to have an electronic copy (i.e. Word document) of what you create. That way you can simply refer back to it, make any adjustments as needed, and print out the material for the new lesson or student.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 13, 2017

    As for saving lesson plans and organizing, I really like the method that I've been using.

    I create all of my lessons and handouts on Google Drive. That way I always have a digital copy of it saved on the cloud. Whenever I get a paper handout from another teacher that I like, I scan it and upload it to my Google Drive.

    I also collect ANY lessons and handouts that any other teachers share with me digitally. Most of the time they share them through Google Drive as well so it's as easy as clicking a button to add it to my own drive, or if they share it on Dropbox or through a thumb drive, I also just upload these to Google Drive.

    The only problems I run into is if they've typed it up in Microsoft Word, because it sometimes gets the formatting off in Google Drive. I don't mind converting it and doing some edits to make it work for me though, because I usually modify them to meet the needs of my class anyway. Also if that's a worry, Microsoft has their own "Google Drive" type thing now, where you can store and edit Microsoft Office files online. It's pretty nifty, but I'm not sure it's free like Google is (it is if you have an education account through them, but since there's always the chance that I might change schools and lose all of my work, I save everything to my personal Google account).

    I've taught a few different subjects, and grade levels, and I also have collected curriculum from classes I've never taught (because you know, who knows), so I organize everything into folders by grade-level, subject, and then unit.

    When I'm planning lessons, I use Google Calendar, and it works really well with Google Drive. I just write a short description of my lesson into the description field, and I can directly link the calendar event to the files I'm using in my Google Drive. I even share this calendar on my website so parents and students can see what we're doing that day and get the handouts if they were gone for any reason.

    When it's the day of the lesson, I just print the Calendar event out and use it to take notes on the lesson, or any changes I needed to make for particular periods, or what to change for next year.

    Each year, I can just look back at what I did around that time for that lesson, and either just copy the lesson, or revise it based on my notes.

    If you're just thinking about basic work management stuff, I keep to-do lists. Google Keep (if you couldn't tell, I'm a Google fanboy) is a great place to keep general notes and check-lists. Every weekend, I make a To-Do list for what I need to do to be prepared for the next week or month, and then I check them off after I've done each thing. For general time-management, I set pomodoro timers. Focus Booster is a good one that works in your browser and allows you to write what task you're working on. I'm using it for my National Board writing now.

    The teacher next door uses Google Classroom to plan her lessons and it works out well for her. She just creates an assignment for each day with all of the things she wants the kids to do, and adds all of the files they need to do it. They answer the starter question directly on the assignment, and she can even have them do Google Form quizzes (I prefer the quiz app Quizizz myself as the question are pre-made), and exit tickets. Then the next year, she can just archive her classes and reuse any assignment she made previously for her next year's class (though I don't think it would follow her to a new school unless she used her personal account--which apparently is possible now).

    Google should pay me. I do so much marketing for them. Lol.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 13, 2017

    Also some books that might help are:
    "How to be a Straight A student" - I read this after I had already gone through all of my schooling (without getting straight As) but it helped me organize my working life, and also gave me some strategies to teach to my kids
    "Getting Things Done" - I heard this was a good book and my boyfriend taught me some of the principles.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    May 13, 2017

    Kenz, what is your degree in, and do you have any training in dealing with SPED? A high percentage of the students in your program will be SPED, so that is a good place to start when learning how to deal with class management.

    I keep everything as a digital copy, and I also borrow from other teachers and the internet any time I see something I can use. I, too, save on Google Drive, so nothing gets thrown away. I can't see throwing away anything that I might use, at least a part of, in the future. I don't have the time for that.
     

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