I think it’s safe to say that something we educators have in common is the relentless pursuit of improved organization and time management. For me, I know that increased efficiency in these two areas definitely helps to improve the quality of my life as a coach. Isn’t it just the best feeling ever to be planned and prepared for your week, knowing your priorities, what needs to be done, and when you plan on doing it? …sigh…
In the book “The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time!” by Maia Heyck-Merlin, she presents a number of ideas and tools for helping you to become a more “together teacher.” One of these tools, which I particularly like, is the Weekly Worksheet. Heyck presents a few different options for what this sheet can look like in her book. I created a version of my own that I think reflects the best pieces of the ones she presents.
I’ve recently included my Peek at the Week sheet into my weekly planning process. I like how it provides a broad overview of my week and helps me to balance my time against my to-dos. I especially like identifying my priorities for the week and building my plans around them.
If you have a teacher binder, this would be a great addition. Or you might clip it to your planning clipboard, cut and paste it into a notebook, or just tack it on your wall by your desk.
You’ll notice in the “To-Dos” there is a section that I intentionally left blank as an area for you to customize. The “Thought Catcher” section is for you to capture all of those brilliant teacher ideas that randomly pop into your head. Make sure to write those down! These caught thoughts may lead into important upcoming to-dos.
Now here is one of the most important areas of your planning sheet to manage…your upcoming to-dos should remain UPCOMING to-dos. One of the easiest traps we can all fall into is diverging from our original plan for the day to take care of a seemingly urgent task that falls in our lap. Of course, things come up during a teaching day that we didn’t plan for and really do need to be attended to right away, but the majority of these tasks can wait. You may have to work on your decision making skills a smidge, but you can improve your time management prowess!
Planning and organizing are two of my favorite things to do, so look for more tips and resources in this area in the future.
Thanks for reading,