Think back to a time when you were well-prepared for an event, be it the holidays or a vacation. Remember the stress-free enjoyment? That’s the feeling we want to bring to your school day. Join us as we explore how maximizing your productivity during the school day can significantly benefit you, your students, and your loved ones.

The Ripple Effect of Stress

Stress has a way of spreading, affecting not just you but those around you, especially your students. Let’s delve into strategies to prevent this negative spiral and enhance the overall experience.

1. Efficient Classroom Practices

Establishing an efficient classroom is the foundation of productivity. Having organized spaces, clear routines, and well-defined procedures ensures everyone knows what to do and when. Reflect on your existing systems and consider one impactful change to boost efficiency.

2. Utilize Your Prep Period Effectively

Consider all your planning opportunities, not just the designated prep period. Whether it’s before or after school, allocate time wisely based on your energy levels. Delegate tasks like making copies, and focus on activities that maximize your productivity.

3. Streamlining Grading and Feedback

Grading and giving feedback can be time-consuming. Explore strategies to speed up this process. Immediate feedback during class can save you from taking work home. Consider tools like ChatGPT for AI-assisted feedback or built-in features in your learning management system.

Quick Strategies Recap

  1. Efficient Classroom: Implement practices that reduce time spent on routine tasks.
  2. Utilize Prep Periods: Plan strategically during all available planning times.
  3. Streamline Grading: Provide quick feedback during class using tools or efficient strategies.

By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can transform your school day into a more enjoyable and productive experience for everyone involved. Remember, small changes can make a significant impact.

Think back to a time where you were prepared for an event prior to it happening, and what was the outcome of that event? It doesn’t have to be That you were prepared for a lesson. It could be that maybe you were prepared for the holidays and prior to the holidays, you had everything purchased and wrapped and under the tree a few days or further before the holiday, or maybe it was a vacation that you attended and everything was just mapped out so that when you went on that trip, you could just relax and enjoy it.

That is what you can also have when it comes to your school day. If you have everything ready to go, just think about how much better the day would be for you. Your family and your students. We’re going to be talking today about maximizing your productivity during the school day so that you can be beneficial to you, your students, and also your loved ones.

For me personally, when I have prepared or not stressed out and something happening as far as Like, I’m crunched on time, or I have to get something done before something else.

I know that my stress will then go to anyone who is around me. It will transfer. If I’m stressed out and I’m at home, then my husband and my children will feel that. And they will like send it back to me. I know it’s a little bit woo woo. It also happens with students. When you’re on edge then they feel that and they send it back to you, which then is kind of like this spiral out of control.

We’re going to be talking about some productivity things that you can do during the school day to prevent that from happening. Because when we’re talking about those negative feelings, kind of like transferring your positive feelings can also transfer. I know, There are times where I am relaxed and I’m able to enjoy the moment.

I really do enjoy the moment and it does make everybody else enjoy what’s happening a lot more. We’re going to be talking about first having an efficient classroom. Before we get started into all of the planning, one of the things that we struggle with the most is classroom management. And prior to even deciding what we’re going to be doing for our classroom management plan, one thing that really helps set you up for success is to have an efficient classroom.

 Having a space where you can find things, where students can find things, where you have routines and procedures in place so that everyone knows what to do, when, if there’s an assignment due, how you turn it in, how will they receive feedback. All of those things need to come beforehand.  Going back and thinking about those routines and strategies, those systems that you need to already have set up prior to your students, even entering the classroom.

Now, if you are listening to this in real time, we’re halfway through the school year, and you probably don’t have time to revamp everything. But what I want you to think about is what is one system or routine that you feel like if you were to create it, it would make the world of a difference and it would impact everything else.

It could be that it is how students are turning things in. It could also be the cleanup routine, having a clean space. It could be how you are going to be giving out or receiving any, new information or paperwork or things to your students, how they’re going to collect that. Maybe it can be something that they do instead of you do.

Think about what would be that one thing that would make your classroom more efficient. The next thing to maximize your productivity is to utilize your prep period effectively. So when I like to think about prep and planning, you do have, hopefully you have in your schedule, you have a planning period, which I know that there are some teachers who don’t, but I really hope you do.

But in addition to that, think about the other times of the day where you might have planning time before school, after school. What does that look like? It could be as small as like a 15 minute chunk. It could be an hour and a half. When are those times? And then what should you be doing during those time periods?

Based on your energy level, based on how much time you have, what could you be doing to maximize your productivity during those prep periods? Also, think about The things that you might be doing that could be delegated during those prep and planning periods, like copies. Do you have a system at your school where someone like a TA could do all the copies for you if you just had them done prior?

Think about those ways that you can maximize or utilize your prep period most effectively. And then finally, one of the things that tends to take the most time, besides planning, is grading and giving feedback. What are some things that you can do that can speed those things up?

Here are some strategies that I tried that saved a ton of time. First, was giving immediate feedback. I would have my iPad out. And as I was roaming around the room, as students were working, I would just go in and I would give them points if I was giving points at that point, and I would mark how they were doing.

I also would give immediate feedback so that when they turned in their assignment, I already kind of knew where it was going to be and they already I knew where it was going to be. It saved a ton of time. I did this immediate feedback instead of collecting all of their notebooks at the end of the week.

I did do that as well, and it worked sometimes, but what it ended up doing is I had this huge milk crate that I had to take home and go through everything. But instead, what I started to do is when I was looking at engineering notebooks, for example, I would have them all open to the page that I wanted to look at and then they would just keep their engineering notebook open while they were working and I would go through and I would grade all of it or I’d give it marks right then and there.

I could give them feedback. I could also identify any issues or misconceptions that they were having. They could fix things right then and there. And they weren’t submitting something to me and then I was marking it down and they had to resubmit it. It was done right there because I let them know, Hey, look at this part.

You didn’t quite develop your ideas. Can you develop those a little bit more? Those are some things that can be done quick and on the fly. And saved me a ton of time because it was happening during class instead of after class. Now there are some cool tools that you can use with AI. If you are doing papers, there are ways for students to get their own feedback, which they can do with ChatGPT, where if you were having them write something, they can put that, what they wrote.

into ChatGPT and get some feedback. , it’s not getting feedback directly from you, but it is already giving feedback from the AI tool. Along those same lines, is a lot of your LMS or your learning management systems will have built in tools that will be able to give students feedback. So, for example, our district uses Canvas by Instructure, and when you create a quiz You can have a place where, based on what their answer is, you can give them immediate feedback.

It takes a little bit of time on the front end,

but what it does is, based on what they mark, they can automatically get that feedback on why it is correct or incorrect and maybe how they could fix that. So those are some ways that you can give that quick grading feedback during the school day. specifically during your class period that doesn’t require you to take things home.

Let’s recap. The first to maximize your productivity is to have some efficient classroom practices that make it so that you are not spending a ton of time doing things like cleaning up or putting things away. That can always be something that your students can do for you if you have a system put in place.

The second is having a plan for your prep periods or any of your planning time. What you will do when, based on your energy, how you feel, what needs to get done on your to do list for that day. And then finally, trying to figure out ways that whatever you’re doing that’s taking a ton of time. The example for this episode is we talked about grading.

If grading is taking you a ton of time after school, what are some things that you could do during the school day? Specifically, during that class period, to help give feedback really quickly, to help do your marking, so that that happens while class is going on, rather than after.

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