Time management advice?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by JoanPD, Aug 15, 2019 at 10:43 PM.

  1. JoanPD

    JoanPD Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2019 at 10:43 PM

    I just found out what I'm teaching next year, and I have 5 separate preps to plan for. The school is doing block schedule this year, with four blocks each day. (I'll be teaching either 3 blocks each day, (will possibly have 2 blocks one of the days) and will sometimes have to supervise a study/hall or help supervise with the fourth block)

    I'm looking forward to it and would love some input and advice on time management for planning.

    I'll be teaching:

    Biology (9th/10th grade)

    Chemistry (11th grade)

    General Science (6th-8th grade)

    Health(11th)/Personal Finance (12th) (1/2 year each)

    Math (6th grade)
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2019 at 2:05 AM

    Digitize everything and recycle old lesson plans. Adjust as needed, but don’t try to invent the proverbial wheel every year. Some of my colleagues — who are old-school — start from scratch every year and I just shake my head at their inefficiency. Why? Because it takes them hours and hours of planning every week and it only takes me like 5 minutes.

    In fact, my lesson plans are done for the entire year for my two AP Calc BC and one Calc 3 classes. The best part? The school year has barely started and I’m essentially done going forward, but I digress. The common spread is that I borrow from prior year’s lessons to streamline my planning such that it is essentially effortless.

    Another tip I have is to use yearly overviews to map out my lesson plans. What I do — to great effect — is that I lesson plan by UNIT and NOT days. For example, if I know that I have to spend two weeks on Taylor and Maclaurin series, then I can easily figure out how many days I should spend on each topic and how many days I need to allocate for formative or ongoing assessments, formal summative assessments, investigative tasks, etc. Don’t make the mistake of planning by day or by one week at a time without any sense of direction like some teachers do.

    It is significantly easier to plan out entire units like this: Spend X days to teach concepts A and B, Y days for review, Z day(s) to assess students’ mastery of A and B, then W days to teach concepts C and D, then U days for AP-practice questions, etc.

    In this way, I just made two weeks of lesson planning easily. Do you see?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 2:15 AM
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  4. JoanPD

    JoanPD Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    I'll definitely start doing that. This is my second year teaching, and my first year for over half of these preps. In addition, being such a small private school, I am the only high school/middle school science teacher.
     
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  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    Oof -- that's a lot. I also taught at a small school my first years, and I had six preps! I honestly really struggled at first. What helped me a lot was doing what futuremathsprof said above. Also, I had to learn to be OK with not always having perfect, amazing lessons every time for every class -- I would basically pick one class per week to plan something special for, and the others would be pretty straightforward in terms of planning. As FMP said, each time you reteach a class, you can reuse what you already did, and also keep adding more each year. It does get easier...
     

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