Suggestions for a rough schedule...?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by am elisheva, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2008

    I go in about 6:30 each morning and have 1st period as conference time. Then I teach 6 math courses in a row, 2nd thru 7th, with a short lunch break followed by Channel 1 time after 5th period. We get out at 2:35pm and I usually leave around 3:30.

    So far, I leave just about every day with achy feet and back, and other times with a headache to accompany the pain. My voice is also starting to fade and not from yelling; I haven't had to really get onto my kids just yet, but it's all the non-stop talking I do all day that's wearing me out...

    Any ideas on how to become more efficient? If I'm not teaching, I'm monitoring student work and walking around the classroom...but something has to change if I'm going to make it through the year.
     
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  3. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2008

    A few suggestions that saved me from the same thing last year. :)

    Make sure you have "teacher" shoes. Easy Spirit and Naturalizer are the first two brands that come to mind, but any really comfy, supportive shoe will do. I had no idea how physical all the constant walking, bending, and kneeling by desks would be! I got new shoes the first week.

    And get a bar stool you can move around the room. I have a tall, backless, skinny stool that I'll use as a place to lean or sit when presenting, and I am still at teacher height instead of using a desk chair. I can easily move it around to whatever part of the room works for that day, too. It helps to get even a little pressure off your feet.

    For your voice, think through the most common things you are repeating each day and eliminate them by posting signs or making signals. I rely on daily work / homework agenda whiteboards ($11 at Lowes for an 8 X 4 sheet of melamine that can be attached to a wall with brackets or industrial strength velcro). I just point at it when they ask for that info. I have a similar wall sign for absence work and a bin for them to pick up missed handouts. I have one simple handsignal for needing their attention and quiet so I say nothing to shush them. I count off 10 seconds in my head and start silently writing detentions if they don't comply- so again no talking for me. They learn the rule quickly and the detention part becomes a non-issue. I have a sign by my desk that says "You already know the answer to that question" that I can point at and smile when they ask any of the innane questions they use to drain time. They eventually get the message and stop asking that kind of stuff at all. Win-win! If none of this is part of the issue, and it is your true instruction time alone causing it, then let them read the instructions themselves or one person aloud to the class, or have them work out and explain some problems to each other, and work in smaller groups with them to ease your teacher-voice load. Every word you can eliminate helps!

    Good luck! :D
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 6, 2008

    For the first time in my teaching career, I have first hour prep and teach period 2 - 7 straight through the day. I was dreading the start of the school year because of my first hour prep. While I hope I NEVER have first hour prep again, I am learning to not hate it as much. I do get a lot done, probably more than I typically have in previous years during my prep.

    Why are you talking the entire period, every period, all day long?? I don't know what you teach but do you have the students work together, complete assignments in class, work on projects in class, . . .? As very wise teacher once told me, the students should be the ones working the hardest in your class.

    Agree with PP about making sure you have comfortable, good for your feet shoes. And regarding the voice, I do keep an insulate mug on a shelf under my podium for quick drinks to wet my whistle.
     
  5. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sep 6, 2008

    I teach math and have a similar schedule. I try to do pretty much what has already been suggested. If I can get a projector in my classroom for my computer, I will do all my direct instruction as PowerPoint presentations with audio so i don't wear out my voice repeating the same thing to three different sets of students.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 7, 2008

    My voice is going out too--- but I have been talking loudly in class: sometimes because the students need it, other times because the AC in my room MUST be on and its loud too. I'm working on that though with the kids: if they want the AC on (and I'm their only class with it) they have to shut up :D But I'm also a very quiet person--- I can talk alot, but I talk softly. So my vocal cords are just going to have to adjust to me doing ALOT more talking and alot louder than I normally do. I've been drinking alot of tea and coffee to help with it over the weekends :)
     
  7. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2008

    For your feet: as already stated, make sure that you have good shoes. But also look into getting arch supports. It has made all the difference in the world with me. For some shoes, I just need the arch support, and for some, I just need extra cushioning, so I have the gel inserts for those. But look into, or try, each and see what works best. Take care of your feet, and the rest of your body will thank you!

    For your throat: Drink LOTS of water, and I recommend warm tea with lemon and honey. But definitely try what the other posters have said -- find ways to cut down on your talking. Make signs, write instructions, etc..... Drinking plenty of water may also help with the headaches. If not, keep some excedrin handy! :)

    Efficiency comes with time. If you are not teaching, you said you are monitoring student behavior and walking around the classroom. That sounds right to me! What do you need to be more efficient with? If you can be more specific, we may be able to give better advice.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 7, 2008

    I would prefer a first period prep to any other period except the last period. That extra time would help me feel prepared for the day.

    Maybe arrange your classroom so it will allow you to occassionally sit at your desk and still see everyone. Then, just walk the classroom every few minutes.
    I am elementary, but I sit at a table in the front of the room when they are going independent math work. I can see them all and they can come ask me for help if necessary.
     
  9. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2008

    Thanks for all the helpful advice; I think my first stop is the shoe store! My lessons are becoming shorter each day so I don't have to do so much talking and my students handle working with each other really well. I have a bar stool in my room that I need to use more often, esp. when I'm near the board.

    One thing I did discover last week, it's okay for me to teach in my socks...I have new carpet and my students haven't really questioned me slipping my shoes off, they just assume my feet need a rest from my shoes every now and then. Of course, I slip them back on before class ends...

    I also figured out a way to be more efficient with the grading load I have, so that's taken care of.

    For now though, it's lemon-honey water...as my voice usually goes out only before an infection or cold of some sort...off to bed for now!
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I also teach with my shoes off if I need to have them off. I check after every class that I teach to see if there's anything left on the floor, so I know it's safe. I also let my kids take their shoes off--- I don't have carpeting but I want my students to be comfortable as well. Brand new shoes for school can often be a pain for kids.

    I think most people would understand that in order to do your job, you have to be semi-comfortable. I can't walk around the room if my feet are killing me--- I do have comfortable shoes but even they annoy my feet sometimes.

    My Mom recently bought me my favorite lemon, orange, honey concentrate that I can mix with water. I might just bring it to school and pop it into my fridge. I have my cup on my desk and sinks in the back so I could make myself some when ever I needed it. And if I really needed it, I could even make it hot in my microwave :D

    I already told my kids they don't have to ask for bathroom passes, so that's less talking for me and they have their own supply counter space and cabinet, so if they need something, they just go grab it (I still have to remind the class at the end to return things, but I think if I keep doing it, they'll catch on).
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I thought I was the only one who taught in my socks :woot:

    For the voice thing, I've found that sticking my face over a bowl of steamy water and breathing deeply helps. I suppose that warm steam sooths and moistens the throat, but I'm really not sure why it works. I've even been known to stick my face over my coffee (I'm a severe coffee-aholic...I drink it all day long), for a quick "steam treatement".
     

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