Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Daily Grind

At the start of each term I come in to my job eager to work, full of ideas and goals. I genuinely get excited about teaching and how I can get better at it. A couple weeks in and I find myself burned out, doing last minute planning and putting off my goals for the next term. I still enjoy my work, but I only seem to have enough energy to get by. Does everyone else get like this? Is it something I can fix or is it part of the parcel of teaching or my long commute? Send your answers in on a postcard please.

I'm determined to at least try to alleviate this problem for next year, especially since I'll be taking on more responsibility than I've had before. I have a whole list of goals for next term, which will come in a post soon, but this goal feels so central that it deserves a to-do list all of its own. If you have any ideas for things I can add to it, please let me know.

Here are my ideas so far:
  • Make sure I keep all the resources I make or use neatly stored somewhere electronically - I used to just keep what I would deem as the kick-ass lesson ideas, and would save maybe 10 lessons a term. In the following year though, I would spend an extra half-hour remaking many of the more mediocre lessons because I still didn't get that flash of inspiration the second time around. This is just plain inefficient and I'm a bit embarrassed that I haven't stopped this earlier.
  • Have homework systemised and have students mark their own or a peer's work in class half of the time - I really hate marking homework. I find it really useful and I hope that the kids do too, but it is so tedious and I've never been very quick at it. Hopefully having it organised earlier will mean that I can time it to when I'm less busy (and make it fit in better with SBG).
  • Have a brief outline of every lesson done before the start of each term (more than just knowing the objectives) - I've recently seen some colleagues doing this. It looks like a lot of work initially, but I think it will allow me to think of lesson ideas when I'm at my least stressed and most creative and free up some time later in to the term.