Optimize Your Work Week
Want to see how I break down my days to stay productive and leave work at a decent hour? And I’m not talking about taking home hours of work…or coming in over the weekend! (Though, as teachers, there will always be times of the year where we have to put in those extra hours!)
1. Get to work 30 min to an hour early. Make sure everything is set up and ready to go. Go over lesson plans once more to make sure you have everything & can explain to students what they will be doing.
2. Have a procedure in place for students when they get to school. Give students jobs like checking in homework, etc. Have a morning message or checklist. Meet with them (no matter the age) to check in & talk about what will be happening during the day.
3. On your break, use the restroom, check your mailbox, say hi to other teachers.
4. At lunch, spend time eating and socializing. Do set aside 15-20 minutes to clean your work area, grade some papers if necessary, set aside projects/papers that need copied/prepped, and/or look over the plans for the afternoon.
5. After school, if you don’t have meetings, spend the time productively. Don’t wander aimlessly for 30 minutes chatting up everyone. If this is hard for you, give yourself 10 minutes to talk to a different person each day. And if you are a chatterbox like me, set an alarm on your phone! ☺
6. This is what my daily after school schedule looks like:
Check in with the office/mailbox
Run last-minute copies/prep
Do a quick clean of classroom (my area—I have students clean the rest before we leave for the day)
Prep for the next day (make sure everything is ready)
Set an alarm to leave work by 4pm
Work will always be there for you to do! Have the willpower to leave it there where it belongs!