Any teacher knows there is plenty of work to be done before and after the actual school day. Although gifted with a prep period, the many responsibilities often cannot be accomplished in that short period.
So how does a teacher take full advantage of his or her work day, after the last bell has rung?
The following tips can be followed to help make sure teachers can make the most of their post-school hours, while not infringing on their outside needs, such as family, exercise, leisure, and of course, sleep!
At the end of the day, take some time to look over your to do list. What do you need to have completed for tomorrow’s lessons? Figuring out the most important tasks and organizing your time around them will create an efficient workflow for the rest of your day.
BREAK UP BIG TASKS
There are certainly going to be tasks and lesson plans that are bigger and require more than one night of work to finish. When you see these looming tasks on your to do list, break them down into smaller ones and do a little each day.
TAKE A BREAK
Whether you decide to leave school and head home, go run an errand, or even head to the gym, break up the post-school day with some kind of mental break before delving into your workload. A short break will help energize your body and mind and allow you to focus better and complete your tasks more efficiently.
Realistically, a teacher’s work isn’t ever finished. There’s always more to do, more assignments to grade, more tweaks you can do on lesson plans. Make sure you work hard while you’re working, but set a specific time to stop working. Upon your unofficial “quitting time,” make yourself free to family, loved ones, and maybe some of your favorite TV shows. You need this personal time to decompress and be ready for tomorrow.
Remember, most people will perform more efficiently, feel more energetic, and be overall healthier if they get the right amount of sleep. Staying up working on tasks and lesson plans will ultimately slow you down if it cuts into your sleep. You need it. It makes you a better teacher.
What are ways you organize your after-school workload?