I mistakenly believed that planning until 10 each night would be confined to my first year of teaching. This year, my second, I am trying to break out of a cycle of late nights and planning one day at a time. Burnout beckons otherwise.
How can I achieve this?
- A blisteringly tight timetable. Excellent structure, but if I fall behind then how to catch up?
- Shared planning across the department. How to ensure that all lessons are high quality, in a consistent house style, and that all teachers can deliver them with autonomy and passion?
- Changing my marking practices.
- Plan excellent reviews that, when marked, can tell me exactly what the student does and does not understand. A good idea but I rarely use it.
- More peer assessment and self-checking exercises, to ensure students get quicker feedback on their work. A good idea but I rarely use it.
- Class Act, an app, allows the teacher to quickly note down in-class assessment. A good idea but I rarely use it.
- Seating plan on a clipboard, that I jot down notes on as I walk around. A good idea but I rarely use it.
- (Spot a pattern?)
- Redrafting (lowering) my expectations – if every lesson is planned in detail then I will be too tired to deliver them with any verve
- Building up a bank of resources and expertise to draw on. I use OneNote to store my resources.
- Using pre-existing resources more.
- Carefully assess what I should spend my time on. I might enjoy searching for and scaffolding an open problem in number theory, but is it self-indulgent or genuinely most effective for student learning?
I have too many solutions to the problem, and currently forget to use any of them. My next goal is to work out how to build them into the structure of my daily habits, to nudge myself into always doing them, instinctively.