How to prioritize?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HorseLover, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

    Mar 23, 2013
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    Oct 4, 2013

    I'm a first year teacher and worn out! (par for the course I know :lol:). I have heard many tips about needing to know when to say "enough" for the night or weekend and just spend some personal time. My question is how do you decide that when it seems everything is a "do now" task? :dizzy: I'm often at school late, taking work home, and working on weekends yet still feeling like it's difficult to even imagine leaving semi on-time even once during the week. Any tips/suggestions on prioritizing or even tips that help make accomplishing tasks (like planning, grading, paperwork, etc) move more quickly smoothly? I'm starting to feel pretty frazzled and worn out and don't think I am accomplishing everything I should be doing as it is. :(

  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Aug 25, 2007
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    Oct 4, 2013

    I am not in exactly the same situation as you, but definitely know how you feel. I have spent the last couple of years constantly feeling behind because I am balancing 2 jobs.

    I did something new for myself this year which seems to be working. I made myself a chart or checklist that lists everything I need to get done at the end of first job before I go to the second. The top part lists all the things I need to do daily, and the bottom lists a couple of tasks to do on individual days so I spread them out all week and don't leave them for Friday (or next week or never or....). I don't know why, but just having the list has helped keep me on track. I compare it to my mother-in-law who always did laundry on Monday, shopping on Wednesday, dusting on Friday, etc. Sometimes just having a routine helps.

    I have also given myself deadlines - I leave at a certain time no matter what. I waste less time because I know I have to leave. I realized I was wasting a lot of time talking to office staff or other teachers, working on things that weren't really a priority, etc. so having a hard deadline makes my time management better.
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Oct 4, 2013

    You need to take a hard look at how you are doing what you are doing. Sometimes we think we are doing things the quickest or best ways when there are quicker ways to accomplish the same task.

    If all must be done, they must be done. So, do they all need to be done or must they be done because you decided that's what was necessary to teach a topic or for a student to learn. Here is an example. One teacher decided for language arts reading, students should choose a book to read. They always had to have one going. They had to log this book and each day write the number of pages. Each day they had to summarize what they read. When the book was done they had to do a post card summarizing the entire book and drawing a picture. They also had to write another report about what they liked about the book. I think there was a few more, all for the very same book. All very important in the teacher's mind. The teacher was insistent with the parents that all of this was necessary. The P was being called. She was still insistent that this all had to be done, UNTIL the student work started rolling in. 120 students all doing this much work for EACH BOOK they read outside of the assigned book for class. Oops. Within a few weeks, she changed the policy and limited the work to the log sheet listing the book and the book summary.

    It is hard to give specific advice without knowing what is taking the bulk of your time.

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