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19 Ways to Reclaim Your Free Time
In Reclaim Your Time: 20 Great Ways to Find More Free Time, Zen Habits gives this list that I thought was so awesome for my own personal life, but I think it really relates to how we can be more effective in our teaching if we find more free time for ourselves, too. I have taken the list and put a little education spin to most of the items, and hope that as the school year begins, you can use some of these suggestions in order to have a more successful year.
1. Take a time out.
Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in our classroom that we forget about real life. We need to make sure we have an outlet for our creativity outside the classroom or we will get burned out.
2. Find your essentials.
Find out what is really working in your class. Make a list of 4-5 positive things and make sure you focus on them each day.
3. Find your time-wasters.
Ask yourself if you are wasting too much time giving negative attention to students who don’t deserve the attention. Are you spending too much time gossiping or encouraging negative attitudes when you get with other teachers? Do you spend too much time complaining about things you can not change?
4. Schedule the time.
It has really helped me if I make a list of all the things that I have to get done that day. Then once I can visualize the tasks, I am able to prioritize them and then mark them off when they are done. Not only do I get more things done this way but I also feel better about myself.
Sometimes you can see things on your list and notice that someone may have already done something like this already. If so, check with them and ask if you could look at what they have done and adapt it to your needs. Why reinvent the wheel? Sometimes I tell other teachers about a topic or idea I want to introduce in my classroom and usually they are willing to offer suggestions, help, or even some of their own work they have done.
6. Cut out meetings.
Use email as much as possible. Make a wiki for exchanging ideas. This can be done with colleagues or parents. I contact parents very often so they don’t feel a need to have a face to face meeting which is harder for me to schedule.
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