“Everything seems so important that I can’t say no to my principal. But, I literally can’t do one more thing. There just isn’t enough time in my day. I’m exhausted and stressed out.” That’s what a client told me last week (and it’s only September).
I was working with a teacher who felt like her administrator wasn’t understanding that there simply isn’t an extra second left in her schedule. It’s not a new struggle. We’re all trying our hardest to meet the demands on our time and still give our best to our students. There is simply not enough time in the day to do everything that gets thrown on our plates.
Does it seem like everyone thinks you should help them out or volunteer because you get off work at 3:00? You know the drill… “You’re just a teacher. Working until...
Starting off our day feeling together and ending on the right foot makes all the difference in getting and staying organized.
As teachers, we often live and work at 100 mph. By the end of our school day, we are left feeling worn to the bone. It's so easy to just pack up a few things and head home. However, leaving items to be put away in the morning or prep for tomorrow undone until that morning is like leaving the dinner dishes in the sink over night. It sets us up for a hurried morning where we start out feeling behind.
Take 30 minutes to tidy up, decompress and get set for tomorrow. Create a checklist of items you want to take care of each day for your shutdown routine. Then, create a morning routine to get you going. It will change your whole perspective and set you up for success each day.
Check mailbox. Quick hellos. Hydrate, pray, organize all the materials I will need for...
It's not often that i blog about the business side of my business, but I just have to say... a little VA (Virtual Assistant) help sometimes is such a blessing. Thank you Rahul for all the times you step in to help so I can work on something else.
As teachers, we are used to doing everything ourselves. Which is a lot like starting a business. There isn't anyone else to do the work. I've always thought that teachers should have a little bit of VA time.
We used to have teacher assistants in our classrooms or on our teams to take on some of the work. Few schools invest in that kind of help anyone. It's just not in our ever shrinking budgets. So, we rely on volunteers. Thankfully, many of us have wonderful volunteer help in our schools, but just as many teachers and schools don't have that luxury.
So teachers. If you are looking for a business to start, this is it. Start a teacher...
I got so tired of survival mode, so I chose a new way to be. I call it Thriving Mode. It's all about investing in systems to make your life run smoothly. Can you say auto pilot? There are many things we do that need to become habits so we can put them on auto pilot. Why do we train our students, but don't train ourselves? It's time to lead by example.
So, the first question is... What can go on auto pilot, and what can't? I'm so glad you asked!
Just do it, I told myself. I trained myself in the new habit of getting to school 1 hour early. I say HABIT intentionally. A habit is automatic, no thinking required. This became my best work time- uninterrupted, focused planning time.
I train students in the art of the 2 Minute Tidy. At the end of the school day, I leave 2 minutes to clean up. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Then, everyone works as fast as they can to clean up everything...
Now that school is under way in many places, the overwhelm can start to set in. Overcome the overwhelm. Take back your planning time before things get out of control.
Getting in all of the planning, staying fresh in our teaching and managing the grading are 3 of the most time consuming, stress producing and valuable aspects of the teaching profession - other than the actual teaching. =)
Like so many things, the best solution takes an investment of time up front but pays big all year: curriculum mapping. I know. It's a huge job. That's probably why we avoid it. But.... it will make your planning and decision making so much easier all year.
Having a fully integrated curriculum map will free you up to be creative, have fun with your teaching and try some new things. You'll also have more time for your friends and family because you'll be leaving school at...
It's really August! What?! I know! How fast summer is going.
Back-to-school madness is here for many and coming soon for the rest of us. Staying organized is key to success in being and feeling ready for students to walk in the door.
Here's my Back-to-School Checklist to get you going at school this year in a snap. Get it here. You'll look like an organizing rock star and start the year ahead of the game (as in less stress and more joy) Win!
Want to do a customized checklist? Got you covered! There's a blank one you can fill in yourself as well. Grab it!
Go win the back-to-school prep battle. Hope it's a great school year!
Conquering your inbox may seem like a pipe dream, but it's totally do-able.
Remember when "You've got mail" was a good thing?! Not so much anymore.
Is your inbox stressing you out? Are you drowning in emails? Before getting your classroom ready, get your inbox under control.
First of all, how many inboxes do you have?
Decide how you plan to keep tabs on them- when and how often. Consolidate what you can and get rid of any extra email addresses you don't really use anymore.
Next, deal with your email.
Choose a set amount of time to deal with the backlog every day until your inbox is to 0. What?! Zero? That's not possible, right?! Wrong. Totally possible and do-able.
Check your email a couple times a day. That means quickly flip through it and deal with anything that is URGENT. Leave the rest.
Once a day, set aside time to deal with your email.
This is when you will do something with every NEW email for that day- read, file, respond, delete, something to get it taken care of and out...
As a teacher and a mom of 5 kids, I get it. If you are like me, your "To Do" list is long and never ending. It can be overwhelming after awhile to even look at it. And.. getting all those things done - forget it, right?!
Well, here's the cure.
Get more accomplished each and every day with this simple fix.
Get my Free Daily To Do List
Turn your long list into tasks on your calendar. Give everything a tentative date.
Then, take 5 minutes to make a small list for the next day each night before you go to bed.
Put on one cleaning chore and 6 other items on your list, no more. Each item should be a specific, detailed, "micro task" (think bite-sized).
For example: If I put "make phone calls" on my list or "call Doctor", it might happen. If I put "Call Dr. Russell- RE: appoint. for Bob's knee (phone number)" on my list, it will happen. Why? I made it easily do-able in the midst of a busy day.
Get my Free printable Daily To Do List to get...
My husband is busy cooking' up dinner on the grill. The water in the pool is sparkling and warm. We've got a nice fire going and twinkle lights in the yard. The kids are picking out a movie for dive in movie night. My summer has begun! That's why I'm sitting here making a plan and setting goals for back-to-school prep and planning.
Planning for Back-to-School?!
What?! Goals for back-to-school? I just got done with this year! What are you talking about? I'm going to soak up some rays and chill. I got it covered. No plan needed. Right?
You Deserve a Break
Well... yes and no. I'm all for a break - 100%. But at some point, prep for back-to-school has to begin. Start your summer with a plan, so you can relax first and be super productive later.
You'll be the together teacher come fall if you do a plan now for what needs to get done at the end of your summer. Plus, you'll be able to relax, put school out of your mind for most of the summer knowing you've...
Every teacher wants their students to become committed readers. Here's a simple "how to" cheat sheet you can provide to help PARENTS support their kids in their reading journey. I call it the Sneaky Parent's Guide to Growing Readers because it's filled with loving, savvy tips to make reading feel fun and desirable.