September 7, 2017

6 Ways to Have an Amazing School Year


#6
Choose 1 Day to Leave Early



My school's contracted hours end at 2:45.  One day a week, I make it a point to leave right at 2:45 (or 3:00 at the latest).  This day, I do NO schoolwork at home.  This gives me a chance to focus on myself.  I can make dinner, run errands, or just relax!  I let my coworkers know that I can't answer questions that day, because I am out the door!  This year, I will make Wednesdays my day. It's right in the middle of the week, something to look forward to!  

Basically, having one afternoon/evening to yourself gives you time to decompress and focus on your own life!


#5
Exercise Everyday


Before you ask, I am not super fit or entirely healthy.  I do, however, make it a point to exercise everyday.  I started setting my alarm clock a bit earlier, 5 minutes a week, until I had given myself an extra half hour cushion of time. This is when I do the elliptical. I was lucky to be given one for free - my price range! I started off at 5 minutes and added a minute each week until I reached my goal of 30 minutes.  I find that I have more energy during the school day when I work out. 

I also make it a point to get at least 12,000 steps on my Fit Bit. This might mean a walk when I get home. (This has also given me a chance to meet a ton of neighbors! This could be good or bad depending on your personality. 😊) This many steps is something that I had to work up to as well.  For a year (last year), I made it my mission to his 10,000 steps each day.  Not going to lie, that practically killed me!  At least now, the walking has become a routine!

Start off small, 5 minutes can make a HUGE difference in your energy level!


#4
Develop Your Own PD


I don't know about you, but the pd my district provides does not instill a love of teaching/learning in me.  I get angry during most of them thinking of how I could better spend my time.  I still think it's important to get new information and find better ways of teaching. Therefore, I go out on my own to find pd that I find worthwhile and can actually use in my classroom.

Here's what I do:

Listen to Podcasts - I love Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers, Cult of Pedagogy, and the Google Teacher's Tribe. (Side note - I listen to a lot of these on my walks to get my steps.)

Pinterest - I don't care if this technically doesn't count.  I am obsessed with Pinterest! Check out my boards if you are looking for something new. I have everything divided by subject/theme/etc.

Facebook - Join some teacher groups that teach the same grade as you.  There are tons out there!  The teachers on there are sharing what works right now in their classrooms.  They are also great places to ask any questions you may have.  Did you know Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher has a Facebook Group? Join to share some ideas, ask questions, and gain some freebies!

Blogs - Find some bloggers you enjoy and follow them! I love the new ideas I see because I know that they have been tried by teachers in the trenches!


#3
Limit Your Grading


Do you have to grade EVERYTHING? No you do not!  Pick and choose what you take for a grade.  Is there an assignment that reflects the standard you taught? Instead of 20 questions, can you give a smaller sample of 5-7 questions? Can you let technology work for you? Try Google Classroom, Plickers, and Kahoot to help ease your grading.  While these have a learning curve, the time they save are worth it in the end.

Watch the amount of assignments you collect in a day. If you collect multiple subjects and think all of those papers will get graded, it will NOT happen! Be realistic. My personal goal this year is to grade the assignments the day I collect them.  I know that this will not always happen, but if I can do this most of the time, I will never have that mountain that won't get touched.

#2

Spend 1 Day Staying Late at School


I like to stay late on Fridays. I know most people practically run out the door. This is why it's perfect for me! I am a talker.  If people leave, I am forced to actually work! I make my plans and copies for the following week.  I can get copies made without waiting in line. I move desks. I clean any projects that haven't been put away. I leave knowing I will be able to start Monday with everything ready to go! I also love not taking home work over the weekends! Chances are the work wouldn't get done if I tried to wait until Sunday night to do it!

While Fridays work for me, find what works for you.  Having uninterrupted times to work makes a huge difference!

#1

Take Time for Yourself


You are human! You will get burned out if you do not take time for yourself! You will be a better teacher if you take this time! You deserve it, and so do your students!

What do you suggest to have an amazing school year?

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