You love your job but do you find sometimes there’s not enough time to prioritise tasks? Creating lesson plans, organising and marking course work, procuring and storing classroom materials, managing students, meeting parents, attending staff meetings . . . teaching really is a juggling act worthy of a circus. Well, the good news is being organised can make life so much easier. Try our top 10 tips and make today the day you organise your teaching life.
Stationery not stationary
Be mellow yellow with the power of stickies! You don’t have to wallpaper the classroom but handy reminders placed strategically in your workspace will keep you moving and on track.
Put it in the book
A daily planner or a notebook is a perfect physical reminder right in front of you to help stay on mission – all of your tasks can be written in one central place in order of priority. Never underestimate sheer joy of fresh stationery and the satisfaction to be gained from crossing things off a list. There’s no better way to make you feel in control.
It’s all about you
The more you put into teaching the more joy you get out of it but it’s important to schedule downtime. Taking time out gives your mind a chance to recalibrate – not only to reflect on the things learned in the classroom and use these to progress but to take care of your own personal needs.
Declutter your desk
Your desk is your mission control centre and the hub of everything that happens in the classroom so order is paramount. Keep desktop items to a minimum and everything else neatly filed so you don’t have to continually search for a wandering pen or AWOL document. Leave enough space to grade work or set down your broccoli and vitamin shake without spilling green gunge on papers.
Rock your routine
Structured repetition removes time wasting and the need for questions from students that get in the way of learning. There’s no need to give directions every day in areas such as classroom etiquette, if these tasks are automated into routines – allowing you to observe and focus on the lesson. Giving students the responsibility for tasks is a lesson in itself and you’ll find your workload lightened.
Right here right now
When it comes to admin in education multi-tasking is not always the way to move forward quickly. Juggling too many tasks at one time can cause confusion and slow progress. Why not try the right here right now rule? If you open an email respond to it straight away: job done. If you need photocopies, do them now rather than remembering them in a panic at 2am.
Write here right now
Many students of all ages are visual learners so help them by writing the day’s programme on the board. For example, they’ll be able to see in advance when a book needs to be ready and opened – precious minutes lost to fumbling in rucksacks add up to lost time over a term.
Use waiting wisely
Whether it’s staring at a frozen screen while parents sort their broadband for a call or arriving early for a meeting with the head teacher, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish in a few minutes. It could simply be sending an email from your phone but small, interruptible tasks amount to big victories.
Be comfortable saying no
All great teachers strive to do their best and often this means going one more extra mile to help a student or providing cover for colleagues. However, when you have enough on your plate, being comfortable saying no is a necessary skill . . . you can stick to your own programme and ensure you’re not offering help that’s second best due to being over-worked and under-enthused.
Tap into Teacheroo
One of the best ways to organise your work and streamline your career progress is to harness the power of Teacheroo. Join the online teacher community for top tips for boosting job opportunities and daily insights into how new technology can support teaching and enhance learning.