Unnecessary Teacher Stuff - Use of Time

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SleekTeach, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Jul 1, 2014

    This is mostly to Elementary teachers but I'm sure some secondary teachers can relate.

    I'm sitting here and all I can think about is planning. I'm going on vacation next week so I'm trying to get as much as I can done because I know that when I get back I'll be exhausted and getting ready for PD.

    As I'm planning I keep finding myself going to the things that sometimes make me question my use of time. For example, trying to figure out how to set up classroom jobs, how my bulletin boards will be set up and where posters will go, thinking about decorations, Making all these tags and crap from teachers pay teachers.

    Last year was my first year teaching but it was at a different school that basically spoon fed us as far as what was in our classrooms and where it had to be.

    This year I have to do it all myself and my principal specifically said that she wants things to look nice and she wants to see classroom jobs, and lots of other stuff too.

    However, I feel like I am not spending my time efficiently at all.

    I just want to make sure I am not missing something really important, at least more important that decorations.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 1, 2014

    I've seen some neat things on Pinterest about classroom jobs. I don't pay a lot of attention to them because it doesn't apply to me, so I can't give you direct links. Good luck!
     
  4. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Jul 1, 2014

    I became a fan of labeling everything using colorful sentence strips. I was so over cut out letters, laminating and a bunch of other things that was just so time consuming. I do put thought into the color scheme and borders I use but that's it.

    If you want to save yourself time buy a classroom job decoration kit. Although I'm so over how expensive that stuff is which is why I use sentence strips and envelopes.

    Hope that helps considering I'm a minimalist.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 1, 2014

    If you have a neighborhood kid to help or niece/nephew... I remember helping my neighbor with some stuff & prepping room.

    Try to do bulletin boards that all you may have to do is change border for...I kept one yellow & hung kids work on. I got a cool clock from this site and printed the analog clock with the times of our specials on them.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 1, 2014

    I don't know about decorations and such, but how you structure and organize your classroom (with jobs and duties and procedures and the like) is extremely important. More important in my opinion than the curriculum you teach. For me as a secondary teacher, less of this is on the walls and more of it is in their binders and lab notebooks, but it seems like elementary teachers do the same things, just more out in the open for the entire class to get organized with.

    If you want to find something that will be a better use of your time, I would think seriously about each of these pieces of structure, and how they can help your classroom run more smoothly, save more time, and eliminate confusion. If it doesn't I would toss it.
     
  7. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Jul 1, 2014

    Thanks for the input, I guess in the long run stuff like this will benefit my class.
     
  8. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 1, 2014

    Having the jobs will benefit your kids, but you don't have to go overboard on the "cutesy" factor. A neat, well organized classroom is very inviting. If you want rotating jobs, find a basic poster, list the jobs and laminate it, then you can rotate names through. I have jobs based on where they sit. (Our kids rotate, so I teach 3 classes.) At each table I have a Commander, Mission Specialist, Communication Expert, Payload Specialist, and EVA Expert. I have a space theme, so these have a small NASA emblem on it, and a list of their responsibilities on the team. It's simple and the kids always know their job. The trick is make it something you feel comfortable with and can manage. I do have 2 other jobs for my homeroom kids, but they don't rotate through. I have one that takes care of the pet(s) and plant(s) and the other is taking care of our class library. I have a small sign to the side with their names listed.
     
  9. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 2, 2014

    I wrote a whole blog post last year on making a back-to-school binder. While you certainly do not need to use my resources I highly recommend that you start keeping a binder or even a notebook to save yourself time in future years. Here's a picture of mine and the link to the blog post if you're interested.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2014

    OH boy do I understand how you're feeling!!!

    It is very easy to get caught up in the "attractive" and "cutesy" factor. I'll admit it - last summer I spend SO much time making cute things - job chart, schedule cards, name tags, etc etc - that I ended up cramming my actual planning and lesson prep in at the very end. NOT A GOOD IDEA!! :dizzy:

    This year I am in a new grade level and need to do a lot of things from scratch (I came from 1st, so I can't use a lot of my primary stuff.) My plan is to buy things on TPT. Yes, I could make it myself for cheaper, but right now it's a choice between time and money. I will print it, laminate it, cut it out, and done. It doesn't take much time and it will still look good.

    Here's what I do for boards - color scheme. I keep them simple. As for what's on them, I want boards to have student work! So the first day of school they would be empty, except for the calendar board (in first, not for me this year in fifth).

    I am not big on pre made posters. I had one up last year - "Today is a great day to learn something new." Oh, and I also had a couple book character posters in my library. Other than that, I hung the anchor charts I made in class with the kids.
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 3, 2014

    I usually offer community service hours to HS students to come in preschool week and set up my room, file copies, etc - all the nit-picky things that take up a lot of time.
     
  12. StarsofTommorow

    StarsofTommorow Companion

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    Jul 3, 2014

    LOVE PINTEREST! One good trait about myself is that clutter drives me insane and I am very organized. I freak out if I misplace something.
     
  13. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jul 5, 2014

    As a high school art teacher, I can relate somewhat because there are many materials that need to be organized and kids need to clean up, etc. I find that those seemingly menial tasks like making signs and figuring out systems such as classroom jobs do a great deal to help make your lessons run smoothly. Think through how you want your classroom to run and imagine how each lesson might be supported by signs, systems, etc.
     

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