Home : 2001 : Apr : 20
This is probably the hardest part of teaching. Figuring out how to balance one's home life with school life. The first year or two of teaching tends to be the most time-consuming. The other teachers you mention have learned how to steam line and also do not have the same amount of preparation work and planning as you do when you first start out.
managing your time
Some things you can do to help stream-line your time.
- set aside time for your family - if every day is not possible, then put aside two days a week plus one day on the weekend which is just for you and your family. No extra schoolwork on those days.
- you don't need to mark everything the students do. Some things are just for practice and in some cases the students can mark their own work. You need enough work marked so that the students know how they are doing and you have marks for report cards. I don't even hand back all assignments.
- Use other time wisely - recesses, lunch hour, come in earlier in the mornings.
- Don't mark everyday - I use phonic books for example 2-4 times per week, sometimes I will only mark the books once during the week. This saves me time on some days.
- If you have parent volunteers or older students in the school, have them do some marking. Math sheets, workbook pages, mad minutes, etc., are all easy things for others to mark. You can always glance over them for accuracy before recording the marks and handing them back to the students.
- Have your kids help - take them to your classroom while you do some marking and have them tidy the classroom, take down a display, etc., I've seen parent-teachers in my school do this several times a week. The kids love being a part of their mom or dad's job!
- Although teaching takes time and is your job, your family should come first! Don't feel guilty if you don't mark that assignment or if you don't stay until 6:00 every night.
And keep in mind that it does get easier and even in your second year you'll find you won't need quite as much time with the overall planning and creating of materials.
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