Advice from Great Educators

I decided to work on another blog post about working smarter, not harder.  This time I decided to ask a few people who seem to ‘work smarter’ for advice.  Read their advice below.

Tara West, an elementary teacher and curriculum designer, states "Try hard and remember that our 'best' is most likely well beyond what's expected of us.  Make a list of the items you would LIKE to complete.  However, make that list knowing that you may or may not accomplish it all that week- and that is okay.  Start chipping away at the items that you know need to be done first.  Then, move onto the items that will be quick and easy.  Lastly, move towards the items that are a little more daunting. I would a lot of times find myself starting with one of those big tasks, not be able to finish, and then leave myself with a long list of items still needing to be completed!"

Misty Miller, a 7th and 8th grader Jr. High math teacher, states “Be organized. It will take some time at the beginning to find a place for everything and get it labeled. It will take some time to build the habit of putting everything back away when you are finished using it. In the long run, you will save yourself time by being able to locate everything right away instead of searching for it for days because ‘you know it’s here somewhere.’ You will also save yourself some stress because you won’t have to look at the mess.”

Rachel Vincent, a third grade teacher, states “schedule what you will do during your prep times.  What exactly do you need to accomplish before school, during your planning time, and after school.  I make a weekly schedule for each of my planning times so I can get a lot accomplished during the school day.  For instance, I know every Monday, I will prep our take home folders and every Wednesday, I'll be planning for the next week.  This method has saved me so much time that I rarely take work home with me!”

Dave Robb, a 4th and 5th Grade teaching specialist, states “Don't try to be a superhero. Remember that while you have a special set of awesome skills, so do your colleagues. It is important to work collaboratively- you don't want to realize later that you have all been staying at work late to complete the exact same task. Be prepared to ask for help from others, and to offer it when needed!”

What ways do you try to work smarter, not harder?  

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