As we continue to examine ways to build resilience to stress in the New Year, it is important to look at time management. One of the top causes of stress for teachers is too little time to do it all! Teachers have paperwork to complete for lessons, administration, records, report cards, etc. The overwhelm from papers that need to be corrected is real. So how can we organize ourselves in order to better manage our time?
- Write it down and let it go. Utilizing a planner such as The Whole Teacher Daily Planner & Workbook, helps keep all of the various bits of information, to-do's, and commitments in one place. If you are regularly writing these things down in one location, and faithfully checking them, you can let go of the stress caused by trying to keep track of too much in your head and living in fear of forgetting something.
- Design your evaluations for speedy correcting. Line up answer spaces to left of page so that you can fan out a stack and correct them at the same time against a key.
- Decide ahead how many assignments you need to correct. How many grades do you need to enter? Find other ways for students to check the answers on other assignments.
- Utilize students for help with systems in classroom such as partner correcting, self correcting, or weekly assigned jobs.
- Just say no! Take some time to really assess your vision for the New Year and your values and goals. When new opportunities arise,ask yourself whether they fit these values. If not, say no. This leaves you space for your absolute yes's.
- Keep you time commitments. If the morning is for coffee and catching up with colleagues, don't get frustrated when you get no planning done. On the other hand, is morning time when you'd rather work on lessons? You know yourself best. Once you define the time, keep your commitment. Be real about what you can do.
- In the previous article on organization, one of the tips from NAPO-NE was to manage our activities by our energy. Start with difficult tasks when fresh. When do you have the most energy?
Teachers have a special challenge balancing increased administrative paperwork with "on" time in front of students.
Melissa Kitchen founded The Whole Teacher in order to help teachers find balance before burnout. A trained professional life coach, Melissa works with teachers in the Boston area through workshops, tele-classes, and individual coaching. She regularly helps individuals clarify their values in order to better manage their time. Check out her site at www.wholeteacher.com.