Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Teacher Tip Tuesday - Prioritize Your To-Do List

Starting today, I am kicking off a new series on my blog - New Teacher Tip Tuesday! I am really excited about this because helping new teachers is my job this year and I love it!! My county has begun a new Teacher Mentor program to help our beginning teachers navigate their first year and do it successfully. With that in mind, I am getting lots of questions from new teachers and I know there are plenty of you out there who probably have some of those same questions too. So, check back each Tuesday for little pearls of wisdom that might make your journey just a little bit easier. For those of you who have taught a little longer - you too might need a reminder every now and then, so I invite you to join us too!

Tips on how to prioritize your long to do list

One thing I know for sure is that your to-do list is a mile long. Welcome to being a teacher! The thing is that you will always have a to-do list, but the key to managing all these things is to prioritize. So, here's an easy way to do this. If your tasks fall in any of these three categories, they have priority and should be done today or scheduled for the very near future, i.e., this week.

Tasks that will have a direct impact on student learning versus decorative ones that won't.  We all want "cute" classrooms, but they are NOT a priority.

Tasks that must be done today.  For example, returning parent phone calls or emails. These should be done as soon as possible (meaning today). Tasks that are part of what you will be teaching tomorrow.  Don't wait until the morning of the lesson to get things done.

Tasks that must be done by the end of the week.  For example, next week's plans and materials, graded papers to be sent home, and newsletters. Use a planner-  any kind will do, Target has inexpensive ones that work perfectly -  to schedule out a few tasks per day so that they are finished by the end of the week.  If the task repeats each week, schedule it the same day and time every week if possible.

If your task does not fall into one of these categories, it gets moved down the list and you can get to it when you have time.  At the end of the day, re-write your list and place your tasks in order of importance based on these three categories. This will help you focus on what's most important.  

Remember...you are a teacher at the beginning of your journey. You are not expected to have it all mastered, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself to "get it all done".  

If you are a new teacher and have topics you would like to read about, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

1 comment:

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