Do you have boundaries when it comes to your personal time? Do you have a hard time saying no? Do you always find people add to your to-do list because you’re just so darn good at everything? This was us, but we managed to start carving out time by doing a few simple things.
Marking/Grading: Why do we feel like we need to mark or grade every single thing students do? Observations and conversations are just as valuable as all those pieces of paper. Record these in your grade book and your free time will free up.G
Social Media: Yes, the irony is clear to us. The ninjas have been spending FAR too much time looking at other people’s classrooms instead of getting stuff done. When it’s time to work, set your devices to “Do Not Disturb.”
Too Much Time Ahead of Time: If you’re taking four weeks to write your report cards, you’re doing it wrong. We’ve learned that you will always get them done even if you start the night before they are due (which we DO NOT RECOMMEND). So, figure out how much time you actually need by starting closer to the deadlines. You’re a professional and you’ll get it done.
Perfection is Overrated: No one is going to give you an award for a perfect classroom. Kids just want a happy teacher, so if a perfect classroom makes you happy-go for it. If it stresses you out-let it go. No one is judging you if your classroom isn’t Pinterest perfect or if it is.
Avoid Staff: It’s sounds crazy, but it’s true. Designate times for you to be social with your coworkers like lunch or after school, but otherwise close that door and get stuff done. Keep your door closed during work times. Hang a “Meeting in Progress” sign on your door before when you want to be left alone. It works like a charm. If that doesn’t work, just explain that you have a deadline and don’t want to take it home because you want to have snuggle time with your (insert your choice of cat, baby, dog, husband, girlfriend, mother-in-law or wine).
Teaching is a job that will take all your time if you let it. To be your best for your students, you have to get the work done at work whenever possible so you can balance out your life. What are your biggest time suckers? Let us know in the comments below.