I love love love Amy’s idea of getting questions from pre service teachers and having bloggers answer! I encourage more bloggers to participate (and non FL teachers, too!) Here are my thoughts on how to balance teaching and planning:
- Store your old material well! I always want to be more organized. Before I had my son, I had to put everything that I had in a binder. It was so great to refer back to that binder the next year! Even if I change something or I leave something out, I may use it the following year. I found it has cut down on my planning time drastically because I am not trying to find something on my computer or in a file cabinet. (I still am not perfect and some days cannot find a random study guide or quiz that I gave last year… grr!) Also, make a binder from your student teaching, so you can look at that the next year for ideas.
- Collaborate with NON-FL teachers! Allison suggests getting a lot of resources from other bloggers. While that is such a great resource, I also suggest talking to people in different departments. One of my favorite teacher friends gave me a great idea about a whiteboard game. Stacey is in charge of my PLC (Best Practices), and she always has lots of ideas for me. If you are a teacher, you have someone to collaborate with at your school even if you are the only one in your department!
- Plan for prep time! As someone who struggles with organization, I read a great article about planning your prep time. I had never thought about actually planning out what to do during my planning time. It has been a big help this year to make me more effective during these times.
Finally, I agree with Amy that you are never “done.” You have to organize what is the most important and what can wait. You can see a picture of my list of things to get done last Friday… that I am still checking off this week!