Even though the clocks ‘went back’ last week, the nights are closing in and daylight is precious. No teacher wants to only see sunlight at school! So, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you leave the school grounds before sunset.
1 – Manageable Marking
Focus on feedback – Try to plan opportunities for self- and peer-assessment into your lesson to reduce the amount of marking. For ideas on implementation, why not head to QualityInstruction.org or TeacherToolkit.
Whole class feedback – Saves repeating written comments and enables planning of engaging whole class tasks to clarify misunderstandings. A wide variety of templates are online and shared on Twitter. For more information on rationale read: https://www.tes.com/news/why-whole-class-feedback-beats-vague-written-comments
2 – Power Planning
- PowerPoint planning – plan your lesson by making a PowerPoint. This will save you time planning a lesson and then making a PowerPoint. It is also easy to make changes as you go along. Having a ‘master’ presentation with slides in formats that you frequently use is also a time saver!
- The 5-minute lesson plan – Print off a set of these and plan all your lesson in only 5 minutes each! The plan forces you to focus on the important things needed and you can now even create your own unique plan for your subject or school’s pedagogy.
- Do not reinvent the wheel – There’s no need to start everything from scratch! You can often reuse things that you have already done other years, or even create units in a similar format.
- Repeat the activity – Using one starter/plenary and repeating the activity with different year groups. Keep the activity, change the level you pitch it at. Years 7 to 13 will all get something from some quickly thought up (or web-generated) anagrams of what they learnt last time (and then make them write the definition) to start your lesson. It means you don’t need to plan seven different tasks.
- Collaborating: Co-planning and sharing of resources can save the whole department time, not only you! The chances are someone already has a similar (if not same) lesson that they’ve used. If not, why not ask around on Twitter or Facebook groups and have a look at TES or Schoology for resources that already exist.
3 – Look after yourself
- Protect your time – We often crave adult interaction after all day spent with children. However, do not fall into the trap of endlessly chatting with colleagues after school if not necessary. Socialising is great but beware of it eating up precious planning or marking time, leading you to stay later. Never be afraid to say no!
- Wellbeing – drinking water, eating healthy, exercise, sleep and enjoying some time to yourself for a hobby will all make you more productive when actually doing work.
- Treat yourself – whether it be a meal out, drinks with a friend, a night in front of the TV or even just an early night, give yourself something to look forward to. This will keep you positive and give you the motivation to complete your work faster.
We hope to cover each point in more detail in the future so if you have a preference on which strategies you’d like covered first or a suggestion for a future hot topic, please email – firstname.lastname@example.org