I was asked this question on Instagram today (obviously sending my energy into a downward spiral there!) and it got me thinking.
Where do I direct most of my energy in teaching? And is it where I can make most of a difference? If I actually stopped to think about it, my teaching time would look something like this…
30% Interacting with our intranet system– uploading results, filling in lesson plans and homework, reading messages from admin and colleagues… especially looking up homework I put online last week to show students that… I actually put the homework up last week 🙂
20% Reading and Answering mails– to and from admin, and parents (to tell them yes, I put the homework up last week, follow this link…:)
10% Marking, a drain but must be done, TBH if I had a robot that could do it I wouldn’t let it, I do need to see for myself how my students are getting on, I just wish we didn’t need to do so many draining written tests (draining for us all:)
10% Planning– I should probably spend more time and effort, but as I usually wing something completely different in class anyway depending on how we’re all feeling or what’s going on in the world, I’m a bit loath to.
0.00001% CPD: Reading books and articles & stuff, doing action research…
Oh, and then I suppose there’s Actual Teaching, which must take up the rest.
I don’t know about you but I tend to dash into life head first, putting out (and probably causing) fires around me, I’m coming to realise that slowing down and acting with more intention would probably be more effective – in many areas of my life.
So what’s the solution? Well here are a couple of ideas I’m going to try.
Maybe you’re familiar with the Eisenhower matrix…
As you can see, the idea is to separate your tasks into this grid Urgent-> Non-urgent and Important -> Non-important. It feels great to dump all your jobs onto paper and helps deliver a little clarity to what probably looks like a big mess of stuff to do.
Unfortunately I can’t delegate all the things I’d like to so I prefer this second version…
It helps me avoid putting on a wash when I’m reading an article, or clearing a cupboard when I should be marking.
I’va also decided to make use of when I have most energy during the day to block out time in my planner according to the 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the matrix. Being a bear (what on earth is Rachael talking about?) I’m more efficient in the morning, but not first thing, so that’s when I
do should be doing my FOCUS tasks for example.
So that’s my plan for the next few weeks, I’ll let you know how I get on and in the meantime please share your suggestions for making time count below.