Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tips and Tricks to help with teacher OVERLOAD!

Well I am about 6 weeks into the school year.  AND I am on OVERLOAD!  After a total break down this weekend, I have re grouped and reminded myself of a few tips and tricks that I use every year to help myself out.  Here they are!

Tip #1
Yep- that's right.  I said it.  Leave school after the bell rings.  You have given your best all day long, and you are exhausted!  Why are you staying late?  To grade papers?  To plan?  To make copies?  That's just stupid.  You NEED a break.  That's why people go home after work.  Yes, you are a teacher, and yes there is a ton to do!  But let's face it, we could work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and NEVER be caught up!  So to avoid total burn out, and to save your sanity, go home!

Tip #2
Stop grading papers.
You are a teacher, not a clerical aid or a book keeper.  You work with your students all day, EVERY day.  Have you ever made a huge difference by grading homework?  Or putting stars on papers?  NO!  Stop.  Use your time for something that truly will make a difference.  Plan an awesome lesson.  Go get that funny book from the library.  Make some phone calls to parents.  DO something that will make a difference.  I have always believed teachers should never be behind their desk.  They should always be with kids.  In doing so, you WILL make a difference!  Mark in homework and hold kids accountable- but for crying out loud, STOP grading papers!

Tip #3
Buy a secret recorder pen.
This is my best tip.  I have a secret recorder pen that I use for conferences and meetings.  As teachers we are bombarded all day long- parents, administrators, kids, etc.  By the end of the day I can't remember what was so important at that morning meeting... so a few years ago I bought a recorder pen.  I secretly record meetings and I listen to them in my car on the way to or from work.  That way I can wrap my head around what is really important.  ALSO, use this pen for conferences!  When we meet with parent after parent, it's so hard to remember what you promised one parent or what one parent said to you!  I record all my conferences and then I spend an hour or two listening to them at home.  Then I can make an organized list of notes or things that I said I would do.  I also can take some notes on which parents are divorced, have custody, kids background stories, etc.  This has saved me time and time again!

Tip #4
THROW away that pile.
We all have it.  THE PILE.  It builds slowly at first, then gets bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER, and next thing you know it's a mountain!  It stresses you out just because it's there.  It could be papers to grade, notes from your literacy coach, articles to read, etc.  If you haven't touched it in a week, you are never going to touch it.  Save yourself a heavy dose of Advil and just throw it away.

Tip #5
Invest in some spa music and lavender.
Spray yourself down with lavender and put on some spa music.  Close your eyes and just be calm.  Do this at least once a day.  Just don't fall asleep or do this while you are working with kids... ha ha!

Tip #6
This should be my number one tip.  Youtube has saved me so much time!  If my principal suggests a book or a training, I just search it on Youtube.  Then I watch the video while I get ready in the morning.  Or I listen to it while driving to work.  This way I don't have to READ anything and I sound like an expert!  I have subscribed to many teaching channels on Youtube so I can even stay a little ahead.

Tip #7
Again, this one should be my number one.  I make Siri read me my work emails, messages and articles form my principal, and books.  If you can get a digital copy of something, then Siri can read it it to you.  This is such a time saver!  I will be doing a tutorial on this one soon.  It's that awesome.

Well... those are my biggest tips.  Use these regularly and see if they help you!  Also, let me know your ideas down below.  We can all use these tips to avoid teacher OVERLOAD!  

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