If you are a multiple prep teacher, you know how difficult it can be to manage different classes. All with the same amount of planning and preparation time as a single-prep teacher.

In this article, we will explore the importance of systems and how they can help you save time and work smarter, not harder.

This is part three of the Secondary Systems for Success series. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Why Systems are Important for Multiple Prep Teachers

As a multiple prep teacher, you need to have systems in place to make your life easier. When you are constantly switching between classes, it can be challenging to keep everything organized and stay on track.

Systems allow you to automate some of the thinking and planning, giving you more time to focus on teaching and engaging with your students.

The Three Places to Add Systems as a Multiple Prep Teacher

To maximize your time and minimize your workload, you should add systems to three areas: planning, teaching, and administrative tasks.

1. Planning for Multiple Prep Teachers

The first area where you should add systems is planning. There are two lenses to consider when it comes to planning: the how and the what.

The “how” of planning refers to the process of planning. You can create templates for unit planning, lesson planning, or any other type of planning that you need to do.

These templates can be simple or more detailed, depending on your preferences. The goal is to have a system in place that makes planning faster, easier, and more straightforward.

The “what” of planning refers to what you are going to teach. You can think about your lessons as lesson types and create templates for each type. This will help you plan more efficiently and create a resource library based on the different types of lessons you like to use.

2. Teaching As a Multiple Prep Teacher

The second area where you should add systems is teaching. Having systems and routines in place can help you roll out content and engage with your students.

Use protocols like “think-pair-share”, “gallery walk”, or “fishbowl” to help students learn different concepts. These protocols and strategies will help you teach more effectively and create a more engaging classroom environment.

3. Administrative Tasks As a Multiple Prep Teacher

The third area where you should add systems is administrative tasks. Unfortunately, there are always administrative tasks that need to be done, regardless of what you are teaching.

But, you can create systems and processes to make these tasks easier and more manageable. This might include creating checklists, using project management tools, or delegating tasks to others.

In Summary

Creating systems for success is an essential part of being a multiple prep teacher. By automating some of the thinking and planning, you can maximize your time and minimize your workload.

Focus on the three areas of planning, teaching, and administrative tasks. And remember to reassess your systems regularly to ensure they are working for you. With these systems in place, you can work smarter, not harder, and create a more engaging and rewarding teaching experience for yourself and your students.

Useful Links

Today we’re going to be talking about systems. This is part three of the Secondary Systems for Success series. If you are listening to this episode, first, go back to episode 133, where we start with the first of the four S’s in the four S system. The first S is set in order. The second, which is in episode 134.

Is schedule. Today we’re going to be going over the third S, which is schedule, and then next episode, 136 will be sustained. Let’s get into it. Welcome to the Secondary Teacher Podcast, the podcast for middle and high school teachers juggling multiple preps to get the strategies to reduce. Overwhelm so that you don’t have to choose between being an effective teacher and prioritizing important relationships.

I’m your host, Khristen Masek, a 10-year high school engineering teacher, former middle school assistant principal and teacher coach. Every week we will discuss strategies, systems, and time-saving tips to help you not only survive but thrive as a multiple prep teacher to not only survive, but actually thrive.

As a multiple prep teacher, you need to have. Systems because systems are what are going to save you time really, when it comes to being a multiple prep teacher. What makes you different than others? What makes you different than someone who teaches one class for all of their seven or eight class periods or sections?

Is that you have the same amount of planning or prep time, but yet you are having to switch gears because of your different classes.  Therefore you are limiting or shortening the amount of time that you have to prepare for each of those classes. I know that that is a major struggle of a multiple prep teacher.

Is just the, the switching of your brain from one thing to another and to keep it all straight. And with systems, it allows you to give some of that thinking over to something else and make it automated to some extent. And a lot of it is that you need to prepare these systems ahead of time so that they work for you.

And then you also need to double-check. On those systems to see whether or not they’re working. This is a really good time of the year to be reassessing your existing systems to see if you have systems and then to see what needs to be created. For next year and things that you might be able to practice during the summer as you are deciding what you are going to be working on this summer or not working on this summer in order to prepare for next year.

I’ve got three places that you need to add systems. Into your teaching life, career, whatever you want to call it, so that you can maximize the amount of time and minimize the amount of work for you. It is this idea of working a smarter not harder, and that’s how systems kind of partners with you to make your life easier.

The three places are going to be in planning. Teaching. And then I have a miscellaneous category, that’s other stuff, but I am talking about other administrative ish stuff that you need to do as a teacher that unfortunately, You just have to do regardless of what you are teaching. I’m going to be talking about planning from two different lenses.

First we’re going to be talking about planning. How, what kind of systems can you create that will make the how of planning, how you do planning easier, faster, simpler. We’re talking about unit planning templates. Lesson planning templates, really any sort of template that you can just move from one day to another, from one class to another.

That is the planning. How if you do not have a sort of template that is working for you right now, you need to find one. I do have some examples in the Multiple Prep Teacher Academy and help you create your own templates to really support what you are doing. But you need to have some sort of template.

It will save you a ton, a ton, a ton of time. And we’re not talking about that. These need to be extensive lesson plans like you did in college that were requiring you to write out a million different things. No, there are. You could even create a template or a calendar or something that uses the simple, bulleted things that you would put on a sticky note.

For the second part of planning, we’re gonna talk about the what? And it’s the what are you going to be teaching, part of planning. You can think about possibly looking at your lessons as lesson types and. What kind of lessons do you offer frequently? Do you have those introductory lessons? Do you have labs?

Do you have something that you typically like to do over and over again? And can you create a template for that so that you already know? Well, when I’m also planning within. An extension of my lesson and unit plan. I also know that I’m going to be wanting to do this, this, and this, and having an idea of what that looks like so you can create another template will really help.

Kind of have you be able to create a resource library based on those different types of things that you like to use in your class. Now, also in the multiple Prep Teacher Academy, I use something called Introduce practice and produce. Those are different lesson plans that. Help you take a step back and then you know that you only need so many of this lesson plan and so many of this lesson plan for this unit.

And it helps kind of you think about what needs to be prepared and planned for the next set. Of systems that you need are for teaching, and these are typically the ones that are always talked about at the beginning of the school year, having systems and routines and protocols, and they still exist at the end of the year.

You need some sort of system for rolling out content and then, Protocols, what protocols do you want to be using? We’re talking about think, pair, share or gallery walk or fishbowl. You can Google any of those to find out what they are, but they are protocols or strategies to help students learn certain concepts.

What are you going to be using? What are you not going to be using? What is your system for helping students learn about those? How are they going to. Practice those in your classes, and then how are they going to demonstrate their learning? These could be protocols for review assessments, bell work.

How do you want that all to look? You could also think about student notes. Are you going to have your students use a certain type of note taking strategy that you’ll teach them that they’ll be able to use the entire semester or course? And if so, how are you going to teach them how to do that strategy?

These are all systems, and it sounds like a lot right now because it is probably a lot as I’m talking about this. But really if you think about it, small chunks are how do I make my life easier and how do I make my students’ lives easier as well, which is into our last other stuff, or all the miscellaneous stuff that.

Falls to you as a teacher, but isn’t necessarily hooked in with teaching. Parent emails. What system are you going to have for them? When are you going to check them? How often, how long are you going to take to respond? What kind of format are you going to use in your responses? We’re talking also about grading, giving feedback, flagging students who need help.

How are you going to be able to know how students are doing your class? You need some sort of system for that, and then documenting your interventions and services so that you have a record. Of what was done in case you need to talk to a parent. But then it also helps you, you know that you tried this strategy with Johnny and it was successful or it wasn’t successful, and then you can use that when you collaborate with other teachers or even for yourself to know that strategy did not work.

I need to try something else. As you wrap up this school year, this is a really good time. I’ve mentioned it before, to really get an idea of what is working and what is not. You can create new systems right now and try them out. It’s not too late to try things out at the ba. The end of the school year, and it’s actually kind of a nice time to try it out too, because the students know you already and you know them.

The other thing too is that you could also just take notes and see what was working and what isn’t, and would you want to change for the following year? If you felt this was helpful to you, it could be for others as well. Please share this podcast episode with another one of your teaching besties and you can hang out with me and find me on Instagram at Khristen Massic, K H R I S T E N M A S S I C.

Until next week.

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