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Lesson Plans

Re: Time management

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Maggie White (mwhite)
Fri, 20 Feb 1998 06:57:01 -0800

Robert E. "Bo" Sheffey & Family (Teresa) wrote:
> <snip>
> My next question is about time management. I would be interested to know
> how much time each of you spend in your classroom after and before
> school, how much work do you do at home, how many of your day's off,
> etc.

I'm not at my best in the morning, so I like to get to school 15-30 minutes before I
"have" to be there (30 minutes before start of class). I shut the door to keep out
wanderers I'd otherwise have to keep an eye on. Students who actually need to come in
and work know to knock on the door. After school, I like to prep slides, posters, do
some extra cleanup, consult with colleagues; about 30-45 minutes' worth. I _do not_
take work home; be it ever so humble, it's my private space. Since I only live 10
minutes away, I prefer to go in on weekends where I can spread everything out to grade,
fire the kiln, mix up clay, etc. Again, there are no interruptions.

> I feel like I'm working and not getting everything done.

Oh, I'm sure none of the rest of us feels that way! ;) (Oops, sorry, I know I houldn't
be speaking for the group)

> How do you prioritize whats most important to be done. Displays, art
> shows, grades, individual student attention, etc. Any tips on how you
> have "come to grips" with all of the demands would be greatly
> appreciated. <snip>

And don't forget the paperwork...My private joke is that I could get a lot done if it
weren't for all these students. I feel strongly that whatever affects the students
_directly_ is my first priority (getting that clay mixed, prepping slides for a lesson,
cutting paper, making sure there are enough brushes, etc.)

Working with individual students ranks first during class time. I find I'm _much_ more
relaxed during class if I'm not trying to concern myself with other stuff, like repping
displays or trying to squeeze in some paperwork. With 85 minute periods, I'm able to
make personal contact with each student, even if it's just a quick "How's it going?" to
students who can work independently. There are usually some EMH kids in one or two
classes, so I get the other students squared away with supplies and instructions first
so I can devote more one-on-one with the EMH kids. They occupy themselves in the
meantime by getting their work out, sharpening pencils, or actually waiting quietly if
they don't know how to proceed.

Displays and such are important, and a great way to advertise your program, but are a
lesser priority because they don't affect the students directly. If I have a student
aide, putting up displays is her main job (a TA position is open to upperclassmen). If
not, you can usually find someone reliable who's finished early to put up displays in
the hall. I mentioned in another thread recently that I save some non-essential chores
for those who finish early. At the end of each messy unit (ceramics, painting, etc.),
each class has a clean-up day where _everyone_ must participate until the room is
cleaned to my satisfaction. Afterwards, they may go to the outside courts to shoot
baskets or, with the librarian's prior permission, go to the libe. And I'm left with a
really clean room and no students ;)

Since I work on grades almost every weekend, I never feel too swamped with those.

Well, I've taken up more than my fair share here. Good luck.

Maggie**remove x in address to reply