How do you manage your planning/prep time?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 29, 2012

    Every year I try to make one year-long goal for myself. Last year I worked on organizing all my computer and paper files. This year I focused on providing better feedback to students and getting their work back to them more quickly. Next year I think I want to work on managing my planning/prep time.

    I've always felt like I use my prep time well, but I think it could be better. Plus, next year our school schedule might change, so teachers might have the same hours as the students (meaning no before or after school time for planning).

    With that in mind, I'm looking for feedback and advice from you guys. How do you manage your prep time? Do you have certain activities you do on certain days? Do you break your planning time into chunks so that you can accomplish several tasks?

    Here are all the things I can think of that I'll have to do during my prep:

    • Grading, entering grades into my electronic gradebook, posting them online
    • Writing lesson plans
    • Preparing weekly quizzes and posting them online, one per level
    • Preparing weekly vocab lists and posting them online, one per level
    • Filling out athletic grade checks, once every 2-3 weeks
    • Filling out homework requests for absent or suspended students, as needed but probably once every couple of weeks
    • Responding to parent emails, probably about once every couple of weeks (unless I have more crazypants parents like I had this year)
    • Contacting parents about discipline issue
    • Straightening the classroom
    • Straightening my desk
    • Dropping off copy requests
    • Checking my mailbox in the main office
    • Other miscellaneous tasks as they arise.
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2012

    I always scheduled by the day. I would focus on one class each day, and complete all tasks that had to do with that class. So, Monday was 8th grade-I would do all grading, planning, copying, etc, for that one class. I had to be focused, because I couldn't leave something out or I would be stuck later on. I used after school for room related stuff-having a messy room drives me crazy, and I NEVER leave without being able to walk in and start teaching. I am NOT a morning person, and I'm forever squeaking in at the last minute in the morning, so I never depend on that time.
     
  4. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I don't have much prep time, compared to what I had last year, so I've had to change things up a little bit.

    I do most of my planning on Sunday afternoon. I know myself, and I know that I am much more willing to prep at home than to mark. So, Sunday afternoon I sit down and I plan out my week, including making all assignments, quizzes, tests, handouts, etc. That way, during my preps throughout the week, I can focus on marking, inputting grades into our system, photocopying and tweaking any of my plans that need to be tweaked.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I have a half hour when I first get to school...I make copies for the morning, get directions for unpacking and do now on SmartBoard, check emails

    Later on in the day I have a 40 minute prep while kids are at a special...I run to ladies room, check mailbox, copies if needed, correct papers, any phone calls

    I also have an hour duty free lunch...I don't do much prep during lunch..I will check email and mailbox again though.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2012

    Like you, I set a goal for myself every year. I don't think it's realistic to try to perfect every area of one's self at one time.

    In answer to your question, I grade, make copies, and plan during my prep time.
     
  7. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2012

    We have a seven-period day. I teach five classes, each of which typically meets four days/week. The fifth class period is for one-on-one time with students, either at their or at my discretion. I also have a prep period each day and a lunch period. I am in my classroom at my desk during all of these non-teaching periods. If I eat lunch (rarely), I eat at my desk so students know where to find me. I do get a certain amount of my own work done during the school day, but I am continually interrupted (happily) by students wanting something or other, even if only to chat

    I get my real work done by getting to school at 6 A.M. (School starts at 8:00 A.M.), and by coming into school maybe 6 hours on Saturday and 4 or 5 on Sunday. I get my planning, correcting, etc. done mostly during these weekend stints. I usually have the school to myself, and I can really crank out work.

    Time for myself? [shrugs] :)
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I make a to-do list each week for each day. I have a generic one with what I plan to do every Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri. Then I add to it the specifics that come up each week.
     
  9. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2012

    Yep, that reminds me, thinking of any student teachers here, you have got to be organized to do this job.

    I keep a to-do list on Google for longer term, and keep a 3X5 in my breast pocket for daily stuff.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 30, 2012

    So very true. Heck, you have to be super-organized just to be a successful student. When I first started earlier this year, I made color coded folders for everything, specific trays for specific papers, specific inboxes and outboxes for work and no-name papers, (I created a detailed daily check-off list for my TA's to complete their daily tasks -- handing back papers and the like) and I'm already used to having ridiculously packed schedules so I put everything on Google Calendar, and write my daily to-do in my moleskine or a sheet of binder paper.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I mainly just enter grades online, get copies, or work with my grade level partners. I do most of my work after school.

    I have a break from 11:05-12:55. I eat lunch first, then have planning time. I meet with the team a lot. We all have RTI groups from 12:25-12:55.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I do plans per week. Monday I only teach one class and I do my planning for every class that week for the rest of the time I'm at school. I write up any worksheets that I need, find websites, grade papers, everything. I don't really have behavior problems with this school, but at my last school I used 30 min or so after school to call parents. Good and bad news I always took a few minutes to call someone.
     
  13. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I have to say this is a bit of a weak area for me. I had always used my prep largely as a break, maybe to do a few things, straightening up my desk, looking at assignments, discussing things with my TA... I would always do most of my work after school, just because that's what I have always found easiest. Then I got married, and suddenly, my afternoon time isn't so free! I probably need to rework how I use my prep times too.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I rarely get much done on prep. It's first thing in the morning; everyone in the school has the same prep period; it's 40 minutes long; and we can have conferences scheduled during that time. I generally have just enough time to set up for the day and then the kids come in.

    I wish I had more time... or maybe everyone didn't have the same prep... I just feel like I'm always running to get something, go somewhere, or standing in line for a copier, and not actually doing much planning or grading.
     
  15. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 30, 2012

    This is a problem area for me.

    Our classes are 46 minutes long and my plan is 5th period. I feel like I've run a marathon everyday with that crazy pace of teaching.

    So, I can't just dive into another task on my plan. I need a 5 minute breather before I get on to the next thing.

    Then, often, other teachers that share the same planning period come by to talk school stuff. We get a lot of collab time in on our plan.
     
  16. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2012

    On mondays, I always think about newsletters that I might need to make.
    On tuesdays I review plans again, and try to locate one area to clean up in my room.
    On wednesdays - I usually walk uptown and buy soup for my 9 year old to eat before Gymnastics and get myself coffee.
    On thursdays I make copies
    On Fridays I organize and get ready for next week

    At lunch time, I only eat, and check email.
    In the morning when I get there, I set up my smartboard, write morning messages, and drink coffee lol
     
  17. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I don't have a set schedule. I just know that I try and use the time as best I can. Everytime I have tried to make a set schedule, it became hard to keep to it. I do use Post-It note to write down some things that need to be done before I get wrapped up in other things. Very often though, I use Prep time to complete SPED paper work.
     
  18. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Apr 30, 2012

    I teach 2 nd so it might be different. Monday- I do grades and newsletter for the week. Tuesday- I do my planning for the following week. Wednesday- I finish planning and do other things required by school. Thursday- I make my copies for the following week. Friday- I sort everything for the following week, do more grades and whatever else needs or didn't get done.
     

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