Scheduling Your Day When You Teach From Home
When you are teaching online scheduling your day and getting all of your tasks done can sometimes be overwhelming. One of the greatest gifts our school principal gave us came earlier this year when she asked us to find one hour in our schedule each day for protected instruction time. She did not give us any guidelines only that we should use the time to focus on instruction.
For myself, I chose to use the time to drill down on RTI and focus on my Tier 2 and Tier 3 students. As I began working through that process on a daily basis choosing to be careful not to allow anything else to interrupt the hour, I began to learn the value in protecting our time.
I chose to set aside another hour in my day each day and marked it on my calendar as protected grading time. I work hard not to allow other outside influences or distractions to keep me from this time. Albeit it is hard some days when everyone is home or students are calling or colleagues want to engage in chat.
It is not that I do not want to engage with other people during that time, but it is time that I have set aside specifically to complete a task that might otherwise be pushed to the side, neglected and then I will be forced to give up quality time with the people I love to make up time from an interruption that could have been addressed at a different point in my day.
It is important to communicate with your team and your family that you want to be able to truly engage with them, but you have certain times during your work day that are protected – off limits for communication.
The same analogy goes for your time with family. When you are off or not working that time should be considered protected family time. Set work aside, even mental work and focus your energy and time on your family.
In Getting Things Done by David Allen he suggests that if a task will take you two minutes or less you should “Do It Now.” I have a sticky note posted in our home that says, “Do it Now!” Having that note in front of me frequently helps me to take care of things I would rather put off, which is how I operate most of the rest of my school day. My schedule is fairly organic with the exception of meetings and the protected times, so the rest of my day I spend determining whether I want to “do it now” or put it off. Doing it now also helps minimize the decisions I need to make. I don’t have to put it off and determine at what point am I going to do it later because it is already done. Plus, the stress of not having it done is off my shoulders and I can breathe easier.
There is also “Do your 5s” from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength that remind me to do a full 5 reps when I am lifting but have also translated over for me to make at least 5 successful calls to my students each day. In addition, it helps me to remember to stay strong and complete what I started no matter how tired I am or how heavy the weight. It also reminds me to dig deep, but at points I am also thankful to have colleague’s and family members to remind me that I don’t always have to carry the load or dig deep. Some things I can just let go. 😉
To help you better schedule your day and get reminders out to students consider using:
You can Book Me - it allows your students to schedule appointments with you and connects directly with your calendar.
Remind -- wonderful service to send bulk reminders through text out to students/parents. You can also add attachments. Parents/Students can sign up using a code that you provide them.
Tomorrow we will take a closer look at some ideas to help your children schedule their day.
Ya’ll have a beautiful day!
All My Love,
To view more Get Strong with Jen! Education Resources click here.