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Planning for your classes is challenging for anyone–but especially for multiple prep teachers. To make the most of your planning avoid these four mistakes.
Multiple Prep Teacher Mistake #1: Planning Each Class Separately
The first mistake that multiple prep teachers make is planning each class separately. This can lead to having a ton of assignments or projects due on the same day or starting units all on the same day. Without even realizing it.
To avoid this mistake, when planning, look at all your classes. It helps to have a calendar handy where you write due dates and unit lengths. Use a format that helps you see what is happening in all your classes at once. Check out these resources to get started.
Multiple Prep Teacher Mistake #2: Second Guessing Ideas
The second mistake that multiple prep teachers make is second-guessing their ideas. This happens when you have an initial idea, but wonder if there is something better out there. You can then spend so much time second-guessing and end up wasting your planning period (or night or weekend).
Trust your gut and go with your first idea. It may not be the best idea, but you won’t know until you try it out. Spending a lot of time looking at what other people are doing will not improve the lesson. If anything, it will make put you behind because you lost out on your prep time.
Multiple Prep Teacher Mistake #3: Underestimating the Time It Takes to Do Something
The third mistake that multiple prep teachers make is underestimating the time it takes to do a task. It’s easy to “guess” the time it takes to do something and be completely wrong. Which can lead to chaos when other teachers need to use the copy machine before first period.
To avoid this mistake, you should plan for the unexpected and factor in some buffer time. You can also time yourself as you plan and prep to get a better idea of how long it takes to do a task.
Multiple Prep Teacher Mistake #4: Not Reusing Lesson Plans
The fourth mistake that multiple prep teachers make is failing to recycle and reuse lesson plans, learning activities, or protocols from one class to the next. It’s easy to get sucked into the idea of finding the “best” way of teaching something. So, instead of using an activity or protocol that you know engages your students, you look for something new.
Not only do students like it when you reuse a protocol/routine (predictability), it saves you a ton of time as well. Next time you are putting together a lab or “messy” activity where students need to use supplies plan it so all of your classes are using the materials. No need to completely transform your class from one period to the next–simply tidy up.
Being a multiple prep teacher is challenging, and it is easy to make mistakes. Yet, by avoiding these four mistakes, you can make your job more manageable. Planning for all classes, trusting your ideas, factoring in buffer time, and reusing proven protocols and routines can make all the difference. By avoiding these mistakes, you as a multiple prep teacher can have a more organized and fulfilling teaching experience.