The together teacher
I’ll admit, I’m definitely a bit of a list-geek and I like to think I’m generally well-organised though will happily admit things fall through the net (and it really annoys me when they do).
Since September, I had been using one of the Additio weekly planners which are hugely popular here with mainstream teachers. It was a gift from my friend Amy, as she knows how much I love notebooks and being organised. To be honest, it worked really well for a long time – there’s plenty of space to plan lessons, plus room to write down meetings and things to do, plus it has a monthly planner at the front…all in all, it’s a great planner.
However, my colleague Carmen recently gave a talk at TEFL del Sur which has made me even more organised and much happier about the way I set up my to do lists. Her talk was based on a Coursera course which she’d taken called Get Organized: How to be a Together Teacher. During her talk, Carmen showcased some planner templates which had been presented during the course and inspired me to change from my stylish planner to homemade bits of paper.
Firstly, I’m now teaching a lot less than I was earlier in the year and doing a lot more work on the computer. I found that the planner only really stayed open in an upright position next to me if it was pegged up and it wasn’t easy then to turn to different weeks or to the monthly planner. Unforunately, my second-hand desk isn’t wide enough for my laptop and an open A4 planner!
Secondly, teaching less meant that I didn’t need so much space to plan lessons, but definitely need more space for my to do lists! So creating my own planner meant that I could have clear spaces for my different ‘hats’.
Having separate weekly and monthly planners means I can easily flip between the two and colour-coding activities makes me happy: meetings, deadlines, birthdays, essential-don’t-forget-to-do-this items – each has its own colour.
You can see it hasn’t made me a perfectly oiled organisation machine, as I’d originally intended to write this post on Monday, so I’ve simply delayed the pleasure of scratching it through with my red pen!
Hi T, I’ve taken a leaf out of Carmen’s planner, too, and it’s helping me keep on track to meet writing deadlines an plan my classes. And like you, I sometimes slip! (But it’s still brilliant!)
It really is brilliant! I’ve not quite got to the point where I plan my free time too…which I probably should as I often think the night before, “I’ll go to the gym first thing tomorrow” and then I wake up thinking, “I should really do XYZ first and then go to the gym.” When in actual fact, going to the gym first would probably make me more produtive doing XYZ!
I always enjoy seeing how other people organise their time – you can pick up lots of interesting ideas. Here’s my take: https://sandymillin.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/iatefl16/
Ah yes, I remember reading that post when you first published it and thinking then how I loved your colour scheme. Has it evolved much since?