Getting it all done?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by love2learn07, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. love2learn07

    love2learn07 Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2009

    Hello

    I'm wondering what tips people have for getting it all done?

    I know that sounds like a bit of a generic statement, but I feel like I arrive at the end of every weekend (or weekenight) and there's still something missing (i.e. a lesson that is not squared away or papers that should have been graded yesterday).

    I'm curious to know people's schedules for grading/ planning and any other tips . Thanks in advance for any advice that you can provide :)
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 29, 2009

    Getting it all done tip #1: You won't ever truly get it all done-- a teacher's job is never finished. :) So be okay with what you do get done and realize there's always tomorrow.
     
  4. love2learn07

    love2learn07 Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2009

    Thanks! Trying to relax a little more this year and be realistic about how much I can plan, grade, etc. per day.
     
  5. TeachinHicks

    TeachinHicks Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2009

    This is my 3rd year teaching (2nd year at my current school) and it gets easier...I've finally got my workload to a manageable level. I usually only have a few things to bring home on the weekend. For example, this weekend I'm working on grading papers that we caught up on today and organizing my emergency sub plans. Other than that, I work really hard everyday at school to get as much done as I can. I've even been known to work on grading through lunch, walking down the hall, etc. I practically start my plans for the following week on Monday. I focus on one subject a day.

    Hang in there...it really does get easier
     
  6. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2009

    It took me a while to get to where I am, but I finally feel I am managing both my work load and my personal life without one or the other suffering.

    It's helped me to plan everything for the next week during the big chunk of prep time I get on Wednesdays. Also on Wednesday I get out the materials I will need for the next week and put them aside for parent volunteers to make copies, assemble, etc.

    Actually, I have to say that's what is helping the most this year. I have a parent who prepares homework packets on Mondays and will do any copying, laminating, etc that I need. That way I can use my prep time for grading or preparing materials I want to do myself.

    It's a huge help!
     
  7. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Oct 2, 2009

    I feel like i'm the last teacher to leave every day! I need a better plan...lol
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 2, 2009

    Go home at a set time every day and have a set time to work for just a bit on the weekends. If it doesn't get done, it will be there later.

    Having said that, I am going in tomorrow to work for a few hours. I can't stand a cluttered room, and we just got done with testing and the room is all out of sorts with paper covering posters and banners. It needs a good house cleaning, and I'll go up there and turn on the radio and clean and straighten things up, maybe change the bulletin board.

    Only doing this because I want to, not because I feel pressured to.
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Oct 3, 2009

    Decide what's top priority, don't get caught up in trivial-time killing matters, know you can't get it all done, delegate as much as you can to the students, and leave at the same time every day.
     
  10. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Oct 3, 2009

    Use every minute effectively. Whatever you put off doing on the weekend, get it done during a planning period. I always put off lesson planning, so I make sure to get the planning done during my planning time on Thursday.

    Grade during the class transitions (that's when I get my weekly reading logs graded).

    I have a schedule for grading (I have 2 assignments a week that needs graded, weekly essays and vocabulary projects). I give myself a week to turn back these larger projects, I grade one section per day after school and one per planning period.

    This is my first weekend of having NO WORK!
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 3, 2009

    September is particularly tough- I feel like it's head down, plowing along, working on getting all your ducks in a row...Kind of like that GreenDay song:"Wake Me Up When September Ends"...You eventually get 'in the groove'. Do make sure you prioritize- do what's important...Franklin Covey says "Compass over Clock"...Make sure your priorities are straight and you are headed in the right direction. http://franklincovey.com/blog/consultants/jamescathcart/2009/02/17/hello-world/
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 3, 2009

    Chances are you are doing things that really do not have to be done. It's easy to want to do everything and get it "perfect", when in reality some things can "slide" or be done "well enough".

    I used to think that everything had to be done riht now. Over the years I've learned to see what is a priority. If I wanted to, I could spend every minute of my spare time doing something school-related. I don't want to do that.
     
  13. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Oct 3, 2009

    I felt like I was doing pretty well last year, but this year is a nightmare. I have more students, and more classes, meaning more papers to grade and lessons to prep, but I also have less time to do it in. On top of that, I can't use all of my prep and lunch time like I have in the past to get things done, due to "mommy business". I feel behind every single day.
     
  14. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Oct 4, 2009

    Organization struggles seem to be my downfall. This year has been better. I keep one file (it could be a binder for those of you who go that route) for each subject - the current chapter/unit - in an organizer. When we finish that story/chapter, it goes back onto the file cabinet and I pull out the next one. Filing is my biggie - my file pile stacks up, so I am trying to put a sticky note on each thing I have copied so my aide or parent volunteers can refile it for me. It is a small thing, but my file pile isn't growing like it has in past years.

    As for grading, I have gotten away from having students turn in every paper done. We check much of our practice work together as a reteaching activity. I walk around and monitor as we discuss. I note anyone who might be struggling so I can check in w/ them personally and make sure they are clear. I am getting better about grading tests during prep time, but I bring home a lot on Fridays.
    Not sure how helpful this will be - I am probably not the best person to respond since I am the last to leave the building 95% of the time!! Ha ha!
     
  15. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Oct 4, 2009

    One thing that I find helps me is making a "to-do" list- it sounds so simple, but with a list I am more focused and I don't have that "what should I do next?" moment- I just check the list, and keep going until it all gets crossed off. If it is not something that has to be done right away, I just put it on the next page for the next day.
    I too am usually one of the last people to leave the building, but that will change soon when I have to pick up a baby from the sitters- I'm sure my priorities will change then!
     
  16. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Oct 4, 2009

    Ahh - congratulations, TeacherC!!!!! You are correct - lots of changes coming your way - such an exciting time - enjoy it all!
     
  17. km51571

    km51571 Companion

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    Oct 4, 2009

    wish i could...

    I'd love to be able to go in on the weekends! It's much more stress free and sometimes you just can't get to everything during the week!! Would love it if our school would let us do that!
     
  18. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Ha ha, you forgot to mention that is also Tip #2 through 1000 :haha:

    Love your new avatar!
     
  19. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Oct 4, 2009

    I just forwarded that to my sister teachers who are as plowed under as me. Thanks, czacza!
     
  20. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 4, 2009

    The SPRINT to the finish line starts in August and ends in June. That's how it is. There is no way to avoid it. I spend one weekend a month at the school for additional planning etc. and that means I'm there all day both days in addition to the time I spend planning the rest of the time.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    That's not how it is for me. It's not a sprint for June. It's one day at a time, one week at a time. Keeping my priorities straight, handling emails and paperwork in a quick and efficient manner. Connecting with my students, building a community of learners. Eyes on the 'finish line' of June can keep you from living in the moment, enjoying the ride...As I said in my prior post, it's about getting in the groove, staying on point with your compass- once you do, the clock takes care of itself.
     
  22. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 5, 2009

    *rolls eyes*

    Some of us are athletes and enjoy sprinting. I know I have a ton of stuff to do from now to June, and that, likely, I will be incredibly busy.

    In my eyes, its a sprint, but one I enjoy, or I wouldn't do it. Your groove might be a jog, but on top of all my other commitments, my groove might be a full on sprint. That's how it is for me, and that's what my P calls it with our students, because we are all so heavily involved in coaching and extra-cur.

    I run two clubs and coach three sports in addition to teaching. Not to mention, I have a life outside of work. How am I not in a sprint to make sure I get all my marking and planning done when I'm coaching four days a week and running a club the other day?

    ETA - and unlike south of the border, we aren't paid for our extra-cur
     
  23. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    oh please can we hold off on the national urinating contest?

    Edit: I suppose that should be international? Or is it national because it's for the title of which nation can urinate the farthest? Or perhaps it should be international, after all, the Olympics are international.

    Yes, it should have been international. I could have just edited national to international, and that would have been easier, but then you wouldn't have been privy to the lovely machinations of my brain.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not sure what the rolling eyes is about or the reference to international contests. I said how it is 'for me'.

    I'm as busy as anyone- I manage to keep my 'balls in the air' with a compass over clock philosophy. Works for me. If sprinting is your game, go for it.

    I just don't happen to think that life is a race and bottom line, I get to June exactly when you do. I'm here to enjoy the journey... Enjoy yours.

    :)
     
  25. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I also enjoy the journey, but I also don't get home until 8:30 or 9:00 most nights and leave for work around 7:30. I work hard, but I have practices to plan for in addition to lessons. I have weekend tournaments that take my entire weekend - so I mark between games and in the hallways at other schools.

    I enjoy what I do, but its a race to get through for me, because ten months of the year, I don't work 9 to 5, I work 7:30 to 8:30, plus weekends.
     
  26. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I felt attacked, sorry, so I added a little Canadianism.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There was no attack:wow:. I said 'FOR ME'. :dizzy:
     
  28. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2009

    To get back to the question at hand, I've been facing similar problems... as a teacher with nearly two years experience, both of those years in various fields within special education (Resource and Behaviour Intervention), I'm finding it very difficult to keep my head above water, particularly having started two weeks into the school year.

    I'm a very organized person in general, but I'm discovering that now that I have a classroom, I'm never sitting at my desk. I'm always up. It means that my desk gets messy, and that I suddenly can't find things... which sets me off... and then I'm on edge, and it's unpleasant. (For me... I don't want to give the wrong impression that it's turning me into The Hulk and I'm biting students heads off or anything!)

    I decided to pop into the school Sunday afternoon, and get a bit of work done. For me, it worked wonders... I just might have to make this my weekly routine. I can get prepared for the week ahead in a peaceful, quiet classroom, without having to worry about getting home too late, or picking my kids up from the gym... it was wonderful. Today was the first day that I thought things generally went quite well. There were still problems... I didn't plan enough for Science, and so I just threw in some Math... I realized the examples of clocks that I used weren't good examples for telling time properly... but overall, it was a great day, and I feel like I'm well organized.

    I know going in on Sunday is not always an option for everyone, but if you're struggling, it can really help to be in a quiet classroom for a little while with the knowledge that no kids are going to come knocking down your door!

    My other goal is to make a loose plan of the next three months so that I can have a better idea of where I'm going. It seems like a big step, but the district has Math mapped out already... Language Arts is largely differentiated anyway, so it really mostly consists of looking at the Science and Social Studies outcomes. Once I know where I'm going, it's going to take a lot of the hemming and hawing out of planning time!
     
  29. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I'm a person who's been going in on weekends pretty regularly throughout my career. Sometimes I just need to know that I have a huge block of time to work in. Sometimes I want to reorganize my room or declutter or such, and I don't want to do it during the school week. Plus, I can bring my dog to keep me company. :)

    For the past 2 weeks, though, I have not come in on the weekends. It used to make me feel unprepared at the start of the school week, but now I'm LOVING it. My weekend feels long and luxurious and I find myself looking forward to Monday. The weeks don't feel as long anymore.

    I want to keep this up! It just means I need to work a little harder during the week. Oh, and again, that parent volunteer thing is HUGE! I haven't made copies for weeks...
     

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