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American College of Education offers a variety of high-quality, online graduate programs with affordable tuition and flexible payment options.
Have you ever made a commitment to your principal or a fellow teacher when you were already extremely busy because you were afraid it would look bad if you declined? Well contrary to the belief that you always need to look like a willing team player, committing to something you cannot finish on time looks worse than not committing in the first place.
If you give plausible reasons as to why you cannot take on any more projects, your colleagues will respect you more for being truthful than taking on too much and not following through. Don’t feel bad about saying no to lower priority projects. It will be worth it in the end when you are able to keep your classes organized and on track.
This may be a no-brainer, but checking your Facebook or Twitter accounts can trigger endless distractions from completing your tasks. Your five minutes on Facebook can easily turn into an hour of checking your profiles from Instagram to Pinterest to Twitter.
If you use your social media outlets excessively each day, think of how you could be using the extra hours in a total week. Maybe you could spend that time researching your favorite blog and brainstorming creative ways to get your students excited about learning!
If the temptation is too hard to resist, try the website blocking program FocalFilter so that social media distractions won’t even be an option.
Rest is extremely important for educators, especially if you also are dedicating a portion of your schedule to graduate studies. Here are a few ways to reclaim some valuable rest time for yourself.
You may have never noticed the time you spend going to the same tab, reopening the same website, or using the same commands on your computer but using shortcuts to get to these can save you about 64 hours a year! Now that's a lot of time that can be used for other important tasks. You can use programs such as Quicksilver or AutoHotkey to make the programs and files you use frequently more readily available to you through keyboard shortcuts. Below are some useful websites that contain a list of shortcuts and reveal infographics on how 64 useful hours are being wasted.
Each time your brain has to switch from one activity to another, you lose energy and focus. Minimize the effects of switching by designating a specific time each day for email, then turn it off for the rest of the day as much as possible. Consider making some of these adjustments to your schedule:
If you have ever had to make a mad dash out the door on a school day, you can understand why this is important! Here are a few ways you can prepare the night before.
Save time and work smarter by grouping tasks together. Need to distribute materials quickly? Try grouping everything you need for each day in brightly colored boxes, one for each table. Designate a student helper or a classroom manager to get the boxes each day, and you immediately save twenty minutes or more by not having to pass out materials. For young elementary students, group materials by subject so that students don't have everything out at once, and practice signals to prevent arguing and playing with items before they need to be used. Large boxes can be much more student-friendly when transitioning from centers.
Brightly colored boxes can be a fun motivator for you, too! Grade all of your essays at once, all of your math packets at once, etc. If you are continuing your education with a graduate program, focus on your school work at a specific time each day. You will become much more efficient when you focus on one task at a time.
Find yourself buried under a stack of paperwork? Still have to call parents, plan lessons, sponsor clubs, mentor students, and serve on faculty committees? Remember—focus on the essentials and SAY NO to overcommitment!
Color coordination is chic -- but when applied to your classroom, it also saves time and helps things magically return to their rightful place! Try it with your students and see how easy it is to get them to comply. Try it with your own files and supplies to pep up your cleanup.
Save time in the classroom by creating a student workforce. Employ a Librarian to manage the books; a Sanitation Officer to pick up trash on the floor; a Master of Ceremonies to have everyone line up single file when it's time for lunch. Pay your workforce in gold stars or another incentive that works for you!
You can't do it all alone. So consider engaging your students with various tasks to alleviate your workload, allowing you to concentrate on teaching. Involve them with collecting papers and passing out graded work. Let students rotate being in charge of prepping and cleaning up learning centers. Or let students aid in teaching by explaining a self-designed chart or map that restates your lesson. Bonus: being helpful will give students a special sense of purpose and belonging.
Don't waste time sifting through piles of worksheets - save yourself the headache and create a “master book,” a tool that organizes all your papers and keeps them all in one place. Tackle your mound of papers by sorting through each one, tossing what you don't need and keeping one copy of every important worksheet. Place them in a 3-ring binder with dividers for each month.
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