Time Management

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hp123, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    Feb 14, 2010

    How do you all manage your time? Teaching, family responsiblities etc. How do you manage it all?

    Now I feel like I'm running all the time.
     
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  3. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Feb 14, 2010

    Caffeine! haha

    I have dedicated times for tasks, and if those things take longer than the allotted time, oh well, will have to be postponed for tomorrow. For instance, I have 90 mins break in the middle of the day for grading and copying. I'll work hard in that time, but if not done, that's it, though sometimes I'll have some time 10pm-midnight for catchups.

    Love my iPod calendar.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Sometimes, yes, you do a lot of running...It takes a while to work out a schedule...supportive spouse/family helps...Organization: bins, calendars, schedules- not my strong suit but keeps me sane to the extent that I can remain organized. Pick clothes, make lunches the night before. Make soups, casseroles that can be re-tweaked later in the week into new meals. Get a cleaning person if you can (mine has mysteriously disappeared:eek:)...and in the midst of the running, find some you time...get in a nap, a walk, a cup of tea...find some couple and family time too...it's what really matters, not the laundry pile.
     
  5. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Companion

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I kind of do like wrice does. As far as school stuff goes, I'll figure out what I need to accomplish during planning (I have 90 minutes each day, and I've learned to maximize that time), prioritize tasks, and if something doesn't get done that day, it's not the end of the world. It goes at the top of my list for tomorrow.

    At home, I try to pick out clothes and lunch stuff the night before. It's amazing how much of a difference that 10 minutes makes in the mornings! My husband and I are also getting good at making extra food for dinner that we can save and use for leftovers later on in the week.

    You just need to try out different things, and you'll eventually figure out what works best for you. I have to use a calendar to write down things, but I know people who are perfectly organized without one. I'm a big advocate of Post-Its. I use them ALL the time to remind myself of things. :)
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I've learned to get a lot done in school.

    And I make great use of summers and breaks too. My trimester exam draft and the draft of the makeup are due in a few weeks; I've just finished both answer keys. Normally I do a lot of general planning, and drafts of all my exams the summer before I teach a particular course. I can always make changes as I go.

    I'm not a great cook-- dinner tends to be something I can put together in half an hour or 40 minutes. And it helps that I have a phenomenal baby sitter-- very often the girls are done with homework by the time I get home; my 11 year old does his without any prompting.

    My kids aren't overly involved in a lot of extra curricular-- the girls are each in kickline every Monday afternoon, Brian does intramurals 2 afternoons a week, and all 3 have Religion on Tuesday afternoons. So it helps that most of the drop offs/ pick ups are at houses for playdates; it gives us a little more flexibility.

    Laundry tends to pile up during the week, then get tackled on weekends, along with the bulk of the housework.

    Like so many here, I decide on what I'm wearing the night before based on the forecast.
     
  7. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Organize organize organize!! The more organized you are, the less time you have to waste thinking about things. I know that I am NOT a morning person, and will want as many extra minutes to sleep in the mornings as I can possibly fit in. So to counteract it, I spend 15 minutes at night making my lunch, putting it in a designated spot in the fridge so I can grab it with my eyes practically closed, picking out my clothes, and making sure every little thing is already in my bag ready to go to school.

    I always bring work with me to the faculty room so that after I finish eating I can grade homeworks, prep for the next day, write notes to parents, basically do all the little things, and still get in my grown up conversation time. The ability to multitask is a beautiful thing!!

    I also schedule- I try to get some laundry done during the week if I can, but I don't sweat it because I know Saturday morning is for laundry. Sunday morning is for changing sheets, otherwise I will never think to do it!

    Before I do something new in my classroom, I take a minute and think about the most efficient way I can get it done. For example, if I want the kids to do a new art project to go with our farm theme, I think about how I can make it so that I have the littlest prep work and they get the maximum out of it.

    I have two things that I continually am thinking in my brain:

    **"Is there a way that the kids can do more of this and I can do less?" After all, I want THEM to be hands on, not me.

    **"Work smarter, not harder."

    The longer you do this stuff, the more "routined" you will get!
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I make a list of things that need to get done and when I plan to do it. I make a great schedule and stick to it (thank you ical). Every Sat I do 2 loads of laundry. Every Tuesday one more. Etc.

    At school, I work in time to do my grading and planning so I almost never have to take anything home with me.

    Crockpot meals are my best friends during baseball season. LOL

    I taught my children to be responsible for a lot their own stuff. They make their own lunches, and have been doing so for 3 1/2 years. They do their own laundry and clean their room. They also vacuum for me. :)
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    During the school year, I take nothing home. I do everything at school. I strongly believe that home time is family time, and I don't need work stuff impeding on that.

    At home, my husband and I have the chores fairly evenly divided. He does most of the laundry, I do most of the dishes and cooking, and we both try to do the general straightening up pretty regularly. It definitely helps that my husband is a full-time student, so he's at home a lot and can take care of extra chores as needed. I've also started helping him learn to cook a little bit, or at least turn on the crock pot, so that dinner is ready at a reasonable time even on my late days.

    I like everything at home and at school to have its own home. If there's not a place (closet, shelf, basket, whatever) where it can live when it's not in use, then it really doesn't belong around at all and I'll do my best to get rid of it. I also try to live by the OHIO rule--Only Handle It Once--when cleaning. If I pick something up, I don't put it down again except in its proper place.

    My husband and I donate a lot to Goodwill. A couple of times per year, we go through our stuff and pull out anything that's not super sentimental or hasn't been used in a year or so. Not having as much stuff around definitely helps the place feel better and more organized, which helps me feel less stressed.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I'm naturally organized, so I don't really have too much of an issue. Naturally there are certain times of the year--like the beginning--when I'm more busy than others.

    My husband used to do all the housework because he was home during the day. For the past couple of years, DH has been gone a lot, so I've been doing all of that.

    I really don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning the house because it's never cluttered and dirty. Because I don't let things pile up, I don't have to worry about having to spend time cleaning up. It's the same thing with cleaning house. Because it's never really dirty, it doesn't take long to clean. It's just a few minutes here and there.

    I'm also big with routine. Every evening I make sure to pack my lunch, have my school bag packed, and have my clothes laid out.

    My classroom is also organized, so I don't spend a lot of time working there either.

    I'm also a list maker. I make lists of things that I need to do, and then I put them in priority order. Lots of times things that people think they need to do aren't really all that important.

    I don't have kids, but my mom doesn't drive and has medical issues. I have to do a lot for her.
     
  11. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I am naturally an organized person, but I have also learned to maximize school time. Keeping lessons from previous years has also helped. I tweak them and make changes as needed, but with the bones there, doing this has become "easy". Plus, I have also made a committment to myself that my career, no matter how much I love it, is not going to run my entire life. I am with Cassie, home time is family time.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Yes, it's true that teaching can take over your whole life if you allow it. It's a neverending job & there's always something one can be doing. I've always made it a point to clear my mind of work stuff the moment I walk off that campus to get in my car. Anything I still have will be dealt w/ the next day.

    Now, I realize there's times one may have to bring home things to do over the weekend, HOWEVER, if you find yourself continuously running out of time to do your job duties or always bringing things home every day or every week, then it's time to change tactics.

    On evenings & the weekends, relax as much as possible & set aside a day for a few hrs to do housework, pay bills, & other chores. Maybe it's every Fri when you get home for example, so you still have the entire weekend.

    I think everyone should go out to dinner at least once a week or every 2 wks if they can afford it. It can mostly be casual restaurants, but it's a nice, relaxing thing to do.

    I also think that mabe every few to several months, everyone has a place to go to spend the day to forget about all their problems, whether it's an amusement park, day trip, weekeend getaway, etc. Also remember the usual like exercise regularly, have good eating habits, get enough sleep, have a relaxing activity such as painting, yoga, or meditation, etc. Always make time to do things you want to do as well as what you have to do.
     
  13. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Ms. I

    Your philosophy is excellent. There are times when things need to be brought home, but its when it gets to be too often that is when tactics need to change...I agree.
     
  14. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I think for me, I will utilize summers and vacations for planning. I will also be a person who works through lunch and utilizes planning time.

    It's hard to do stuff at night, but will if I must.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    My teaching day starts at 7:00 and I work straight through until the end of the day, which is when my prep/planning time is. The only break I have is that 30-minute lunch, and I think I'd go nuts if I anticipated using it for work stuff all the time.

    I sometimes work through my lunch at school if I'm in 'the zone' and really feeling whatever I'm working on, or if there's a last-minute thing that needs to get done. Generally, though, I like to use my lunch time to visit with my colleagues and enjoy a quiet classroom for 30 minutes. I usually allow students into my room at lunch so that they have someplace quiet where they can be for a little while, away from the craziness in the quad/cafeteria.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I really, really believe that this practice will cause burn-out. Good teachers are teachers who aren't stretched to the limit and stressed out...and I hardly think that teaching and planning during every waking hour is the way to avoid stress.
     
  17. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Well I'm a mess like you most of the time. :D

    After a few years I realized something... there is ALWAYS more to do at school, at a certain point you have to prioritize and let the rest go! My desk isn't pretty and my room might not look perfect, BUT my students enjoy school and I'm not there until six o'clock every night. :)

    I'm a man - so dinner is fairly easy - mac and cheese! :D
     
  18. guest_teacher

    guest_teacher Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    You are fortunate to know in advance which courses you will be teaching. Care to trade schools? :) In my (public) district, elementary teachers have a general sense of which grade they will be teaching before they leave for the summer, but about 25% this year witnessed changes (different grade, combination class, or different school) within the first month of the school year.

    Our high school teachers are informed of their teaching assignments three days before the school year starts, and changes can occur within the first month. One Monday morning, about three weeks into the 2008-2009 school year, I walked in to find that 4 of my 5 courses had been changed!

    In all seriousness, when one works for a well-run school or district, long-range planning is a great time management strategy.
     

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