Making the Most and Staying On Track During Teacher Planning Time
Here's a top question teachers ask: How do I stay on track during planning time?!
It usually comes along with a few of these common Teacher problems:
- Someone is ALWAYS coming into my room to talk to me.
- I get pulled into last-minute meetings all the time, ugh!
- There's SO much to do, I try to get it all done during planning time but just can't.
Sound familiar? Yep, we've all been there, friend!
Stay with me, because each of these situations has a solution.
Protect Your Planning Time from Interruptions and Distractions
First things first. Minimize distractions by:
- closing out any extra tabs you're not using on your computer
- clearing your workspace
- and closing your door
If your teacher bestie comes to you trying to talk, politely say something along the lines of: "I really want to hear more about this but I have to get "xyz" done right now. Can we chat later?"
OR if you're desperately craving some adult interaction, invite them to have a little co-working session with you!
You gotta protect that planning time, teacher friend!
Set Priorities and Schedule Time for Planning
This comes back to holding firm on your schedule for planning. If this is your set time to work on a specific task, honor and protect that.
Sometimes last-minute meetings or situations come up that need to be addressed immediately. But, if you have the option, don't be afraid to say "no" - as in, "I'm sorry, I'm not available right now. Can we schedule this for another time?". And ask if in the future there can be some prior notification so as not to take up your planning time.
It's all about being clear about your boundaries.
Focus on One Thing At a Time
Ok, let me be perfectly clear about this one: multitasking is not a superpower. Ya hear me??? I used to think it was, so I get it. I used to think if I could multitask, then OF COURSE I would get all the things on my to do list done.... right???
By trying to get too much done at once, all you're really doing is sending your brain into a state of overwhelm.
Put away anything that could distract you, and focus on just ONE task during that planning time. You're going to feel instantly more productive. Promise.
Speaking of instant productivity....
If you've been wondering how to instantly increase your productivity during your planning time so you can be more present inside and outside of school, check out my Teacher Time Solutions Quiz!
This 7-question quiz will point you toward simple strategies and resources that will help solve the common prep time problems so many teachers face.
Looking for more? Check out These Related Blog Posts and Podcast Episodes:
- The Teacher Time Podcast Episode 87: 3 Common Prep Time Problems Elementary Teachers Have and Their Solutions
- The Teacher Time Podcast Episode 78: 3 Things Teachers Are Allowed to Do That Will Help with Your Mental Health
- The K-2 Teacher's Ultimate Guide to Getting More Done During Prep Time Without the Overwhelm
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