Saturday, April 5, 2014

Teachers in the road

Have you ever asked or thought what kind of life does a teacher have?
From my time in school, I had taken for granted Teachers live in houses
because all of my teachers did. It was not until I lived in a small town
and different time that I found out most Teachers live in apartments.
And most have no TV or cable etc. I had a Teacher from way out in
Oklahoma tell me she had a big high dollar TV and because she had 
no time to watch it and just had no money for cable etc, she sold it to 
get money for a Pizza party for her class. 

A Teacher doing that? Yes! 

~~~~The Real Number Of Hours Teachers Work In One Eye-Opening Graphic
When you look at the time teachers actually spend working, you can see that it's
not a cakewalk at all. The next time your city or state wants to cut back on teacher
salaries or hammer their pensions, here's something to show around to folks before
they make a decision.

~~~~Why most productivity tips don't work for teachers
You’re probably familiar with popular productivity and time-management advice like
“Close your door to avoid interruptions,” “Manage your energy, not your time,”
and “Work for 20 minutes followed by  a five-minute break. Repeat.”

Great advice, if you’re not a teacher.

You see, these tips were written for the corporate crowd: entrepreneurs, freelancers,
and upper level management — all professionals with which teachers share traits,
but certainly not schedules or job duties.

Many productivity experts assume a standard seven-hour work day where,
with the right routine and discipline, everything can get done. But, as you know,
teachers’ work days are anything but standard.

So, yeah, run-of-the-mill time-management advice just doesn’t cut it. 
That’s why we decided to do what every excellent teacher does, and adapt 
general productivity advice for the time-challenged teacher.

(Don’t get too excited. We’re pretty sure the 4-Hour Work Week is still a pipe 
dream for teachers.) Some of these tips are for in-class productivity while others
are for before or after-school work, but all will make your days go smoother. 

4 Productivity Tips That Work for Teachers

 #1: Tap into the Zeigarnik effect to build momentum.
You know that powerful (sometimes pesky) feeling that you must finish a project
you started but didn’t have time to complete? That’s the Zeigarnik effect or,
maybe you know it by its more common name: What Every Teacher Everywhere
Experiences Every Day. Its existence compels you to finish what you’ve started.
While the Zeigarnik effect is typically unintentionally triggered
(i.e. you didn’t plan to leave things incomplete), you can purposely tap into its power
to build momentum going into the week and increase your productivity.

It’s simple, really. Choose one or two major projects you need to complete
during the week, and on Sunday night, spend just one hour getting the ball rolling.
Then, with the Zeigarnik effect in your corner, you won’t be able not to finish your
projects as quickly as possible.
This works particularly well with projects like curriculum re-writes, lesson
reflections, and grad school papers, that are important, complex, and have longer
deadlines meaning you could easily put them off until you start getting those
procrastination-induced panic attacks.

#2: Cut classroom clutter.
Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that too
much visual stimuli, or clutter, inhibits the ability of you (and your students!)
to focus. And what bigger classroom time-trap is there than trying to get your kids
to focus? By taking the time before school starts this year to sell, donate, and
toss things are that are non-functional or no longer relevant, you’ll not only
increase everyone’s focus, but also reclaim those precious minutes you and your
students spend searching for the things you really do need.

#3: Delegate to your students.
Many productivity experts suggest that leaders delegate projects and tasks
to their team. Of course for those in other work environments, their “team” is comprised
of educated, independent, responsible adults, not 35 first graders. But that doesn’t
mean this advice can’t work for teachers, too. Think about those tasks that always
end up slowing down the pace of your lessons: collecting papers, distributing materials,
re-arranging desks for projects, answering the phone when it rings during class.
These are all things that can easily be delegated to your students.
In fact, use delegation as a way to build classroom culture and get student buy-in by
having them apply and even interview for classroom jobs.

#4: Talk to other teachers to find out what really works.
When it’s all said and done, no one understands your situation like other teachers,
which makes them the true productivity experts.

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