Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kind of Like the Movie Groundhog Day

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day?

You know, the one with Bill Murray.  He just keeps repeating the same day over and over.  Yeah, that one.

Teaching is a bit like that.  There are things we need to do over and over and over and over...

Things like check email, return phone calls, write lesson plans, etc.  It's easy to get overwhelmed by them.  It's even easier to get distracted while doing them.  I for one ALWAYS fall victim to whatever celebrity gossip story is featured on the AOL homepage so a simple "email check" turns into twenty minutes of reading about the latest on Brangelina.  

There is a way to simplify things and save yourself oodles of time.  

Today I present to you: The Routine Journal

It's the next installment in your Ultimate Teacher Organization Tool.  

Once again, I've created some printouts that match the Plan Book kit.  Click here to print them.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Start with the daily routines.  What is it that you need to accomplish every. single. day?  Now break those down into four categories: before school, at lunchtime, after school and at night.  

2. Create a checklist for each of those things under the time of day you need to do them.  Things like "check email" may fall into several times as you do it throughout the day.  

3. Place your checklist into a clear plastic sheet protector. This will allow you to check your items off with a dry erase marker as you do them and then erase them for the next day.

4. Move on to the weekly routines.  Think of the tasks that you must accomplish over the course of a week.  I have found that by designating my tasks to specific days I am able to be very efficient and streamline what needs to be done.  By establishing a rhythm to your tasks, you won't feel as much of an overwhelming burden to get things done because you know when they will.  This also helps to keep you on top of things.  

5. Leave a few blank lines so that you can write in additional things that come up (IEP meeting, report cards, etc)

Below is my weekly routine journal to give you an idea.



 lesson plans: language arts

 organize copies and materials to go with them

 communicate with 6 parents


 lesson plans: math and science/social studies

 organize copies and materials to go with them

 communicate with 6 parents


 create homework packets for next week

 communicate with 6 parents


 weekly newsletter

 communicate with 6 parents


 correct formal assessments

 update class website


Sunny said...

Oh, I really like this! I am a big fan of checklists because there are so many routine things we do every day. These are very cute. I hadn't ever thought of putting them into sheet protectors. Much nicer for the environment that way since you can just use it over and over.

jday129 said...

Good idea. there were times when I knew I had so much to do I just couldn't focus on any of it. I think this will help.

Also,I love that you communicate with so many parents.