Time (January trial)

Time. That elusive yet constant part of our lives that often slips on by. Teachers (and likely most others) constantly say that the one thing we want more of is time. Time to plan. Time for feedback. Time for this and time for that. It’s constant, so how can I better work with it.

The hope with this post is to trial becoming a better scheduler. Yep, I’ve read multiple times that those folks that are truly effective take the time to plan out their schedules. Why haven’t I? I start to and then the sneaky feeling of a schedule running my life sneaks in and I abandon. It’s my schedule! I’m running it. So, I’m giving it another shot and am writing it down here to push myself through the three weeks of January. Does planning out the week give me benefits?

Blocks

I see myself having three large blocks: before school, during and after. Some of this time is set (classes and meetings) while others can be managed.

Juggle the commitments (not a priority list…)

  1. Family – Priority time for my wonderful wife and two crazy munchkins. They’ve hit 4 and want to play!
  2. Exercise – Will I get myself back to pre-ACL #2 condition? Who knows but unless I start moving nothing is going to happen. It’s almost been 1 year since the second diagnosis.
  3. Students – they need feedback
  4. Teacher Practice – I’ve committed to the MTBOS January blogging challenge as a way to revive my writing. Plus, I need to spend more time reflecting and also observing others.
  5. Science Meeting Time
  6. Math Meeting Time
  7. Classroom, paperwork & the catch-up – Whether or not I like it, this sneaks up on me. So, I’ll try to bundle it all in one place.
  8. Week Plan & Parents – Time is needed to plan out the following week. Also, I like to send out weekly emails to parents to let them know what is happening in class.
  9. Planning time – Ready or not, here they come. I better be planned.

A glance – early morning

Wake-Up Time: 4:00 am

Plan for the day: 4:15 – 5:15

Coffee prep and enjoyment with my sweetie and any little munchkin that swings on down the stairs. 5:15 – 6

6 – 7 on

  • MWF: Get ready / help get the girls going / breakfasts
  • TH: Masters’ Swim @ school

@ School

7:15 – 8:00 Class time / planning

8 – 3:20 School Day. My school has a wacky schedule. It runs off a 6-day cycle (the part I like about this is that I see students at different times of the day) and has different schedules on different days of the 5-day week. Each day, I have a full block off and an “enrichment” block as well. This time can be juggled and I’m using the following categories for the full block time:

  • Students x 2 (2 blocks to account for feedback, comments, etc.)
  • Teacher Practice – I’m making the commitment to write about my practice and to observe other teachers.
  • Self – It’s a balance right and I’m fortunate that my school understands the need to balance work with wellness. Why is it that  one of the first things schools “throw out” when funding/time is cut is PE and one of the first things many people ditch when pressed is exercise? So, one block for exercise.
  • Room, Plan & Parents – plan for the coming week, write an email to parents and put my room into order

The “enrichment”/short blocks – In a 6 day cycle, two are reserved for Math Collaboration and two for Science Collaboration. The other two will be left open heading into my “plan” phase. For example, the one “empty” for the coming week has been taken for a parent meeting.

After school

Our joke is that curfew is at 5:00 pm. One of the benefits of living abroad is that we can get great help. I’m not quite sure how we would have survived without this. As such, we need to be home at 5:00 and that gives me a bit over an hour free. This will be scheduled weekly.

5 – 7:30/8  Cook dinner, play with the kids, read to the kids, eat, get the kids ready and off to bed

8 – 8:45

  • MW – Run with the pooch. She needs the exercise too. It’s cold and dark right not in Beijing hoping I’ll push this one through.
  • TH – Projects (that family calendar is way over due) + Blogging
  • F – sit back, the week is done

Reflections – weekly check-ins to review and look forward

1/17: All goals were not met. There – get that out of the way. At the same time, I enjoyed having more of a blueprint for the week.

  • Scheduling in the “Teacher Practice” time. I dropped in on a fellow teacher for a half hour. Last semester, we often talked about beginning to observe but never started. This was a good beginning. I spent some more time in my practice block writing a blog and looking over articles. Time well spent. This week – I would like to find another teacher to sit in on. The act of being in another class was nice and several tangential ideas popped into my head as I observed. I also saw many students that I had last year. Bonus!
  • Exercise – definitely up! This is mixed though. I made both swim days but did not get in the runs / gym time that I wanted. The pooch was one reason. We got out on the Monday night and she started limping so we turned around early. My block time was bumped for good collaboration with another teacher so that was a positive reason. This week, I’m going for the swimming again and the night time runs without the pooch (she’s still hurting a bit). Unfortunately, this week there is a team meeting during the afternoon block off so I’ll get no “me” time during the day. Trying to bump an exercise block after school.
  • Plan & Parents – This is a good use of the last block on Friday when I don’t have students. I got out a parent letter and began looking forward to the schedule of next week. I’m working with stream tables for the first time and am trying to modify the tables for a better outfall. Coming week – maintain though try to get fully through the next week’s plan by the end of the day.
  • Students – Reports were due. New units started. This time was definitely snapped up. I have a few students in greater need. How can I better hone in on their levels of understanding and what they need in the classroom?
  • Math Collaboration time – Take the time before to have clear goals. Essential. There is a better feeling of the meeting if you have a structure.
  • Science Collaboration time – Wow, this new unit has lots of standards dangling from it. Too much?

This week…

  • Garden order a must! Mother nature is not waiting for me.
  • Vocabulary – put structures into place for students to work with vocabulary of this new unit.
  • Exercise – the knee isn’t waiting. Strengthen! Try to kick of a Thursday Masters’ Track Afternoon
  • Student friendly rubrics for units need to be polished off.
  • Calendar Project – finish it up!
  • Blogging Initiative – Week 2 (idea for post – beginning with the mathematical practices)
  • Home Blog – this blog has received no love for a long time. Start writing more.
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