{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Is anybody else struggling to plan during school hours? It’s my first year teaching all subjects and I CANNOT for the life of me get caught up. I feel like I’m constantly working to try and catch up. I am tired of taking stuff home every single night because I am losing family time. Any suggestions?", "post_id": "5fa75cb55dbe8d0020cef672", "reply_count": 27, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Is anybody else struggling to plan during school hours? It’s my first year teaching all subjects and I CANNOT for the life of me get caught up. I feel like I’m constantly working to try and catch up. I am tired of taking stuff home every single night because I am losing family time. Any suggestions?

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Try sharing lesson plans with the others that teach your grade in your building, even if you have to tweak what they do it’s better than starting from scratch. Or other grade level teachers in your district? Send an email to those you don’t know in the other schools in your district that teach the same grade asking if they want to share plans, you may find a lot of support, someone that feels the same way. Or buy one subject from TPT, so that everything is done for you.

likehelpful

Here’s the Audible website, unlimited free stories as long as schools are closed: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

I’ve just decided to do what I can during contract hours. Whatever gets done, gets done. If it doesn’t, oh well.

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Blend your subjects as much as possible (thematic units). Use social studies or science text while teaching reading. Grade the reading strategy for reading and question answers for SS or science grade. Research a scientist or historical figure. Take an English grade and SS/ science grade for different parts of the assignment. Compare/ contrast a historical fiction piece with the time period you are studying. Also, if this is your first year with this, use your books and any materials (tests, quizzes, guided notes) that came with it that make sense for your students. You do not have to do it all your first year. That will only serve to burn you out. Ask for ideas here— give grade and topic and I’d bet you get a lot of ideas 💡. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up your family time , you’ll regret that.

likesmart

You will get the hang of it. Try connecting your plans to what you observe that the students need. Sometimes we as teachers have these super ambitions but our students’ needs may be very simple. Or they need to be broken down into mini lessons. I have yet to go through a lesson plan I created for a week. It’s been three weeks. But you are right. I do my planning on Tuesdays and Sundays off hours and work until whenever. Don’t lose your balance though.

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You don’t really catch up. As soon as you adjust they change something else. Relax, it won’t always be this way. Do what you can at work. Don’t take it home with you unless there’s a meeting about it the next day. My district is forcing me to teach both in person and distance learners as well. My suggestion is to give them both the same assignments as much as possible and record the lesson you teach in class and post it online for your distance learners. You may need to have the two groups a day apart. Do what you can but don’t burn yourself out.

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I agree ; you will never catch up! I am barely keeping my head above water. Fellow teachers keep posting on here that it will get easier but I personally have yet to experience that. Once I feel I have reached a manageable schedule, admin adds another demand. I am perpetually exhausted. This is absolutely the lowest point of my teaching career. My family has been very supportive but I know they tire of hearing my frustrations. I am grateful that I still have a job but at this point I am not sure it is worth the toll it is taking on my health and family. I pray daily that things will change, and just try to keep the faith that this too shall pass.

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This year would have been difficult under normal circumstances. Just do your best and give yourself a little grace

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While I love some of the ideas - setting boundaries between work and home, having others do their jobs, sharing the burden with others that teach the same subjects, getting lessons from elsewhere, etc... Yes, I’m working my butt off even more than when we had to pivot last Spring and go all remote. I teach Comp Sci in a small school. I’m the only CS person. And my supervisor is great. But planning my lessons isn’t her job; it’s mine. And the real issue for us this year is planning lessons for both in person instruction and remote, since we are in hybrid mode.

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I am in the same boat and it’s crazy how one of my blended classes can move more quickly than the other ... start throwing in these holidays that seem to cut into one blended time and not the other and man, it’s getting really chaotic. I too, feel like I’m working twice as hard and it’s been a real conversation as to whether we are just checking off boxes or really teaching for mastery vs. exposure. I’m just ready for this year to end. I tell myself to do what I can and let the rest go ~ easier said than done though. **the struggle is real

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Divide and conquer. Find at least one other teacher you can plan with, then split up the tasks. I only grade tests and certain writing assignments. Make rubrics and have students self evaluate (it will take a few practice runs but it is perfect for 1st graders on up). Ultimately, you shouldn't take anything home. The kids will live if you don't do everything.

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Have you talked to your team??? Maybe you can split the work? You are all teaching the same thing anyways.. one can do all the math lessons, another the reading lessons and so on. Work smarter not harder. 😊

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Yes I have! We have a pacing guide that we all follow, but I’m just struggling to find differentiated work to fit the needs of all of my kids. I have students from a 1st grade level all the way up to an 8th grade level. Add ESOL into that as well. I have been teaching for 4 years now but have never had this much trouble doing my job.

My focus is staying above water; catching up isn’t a possibility. I do some work outside of work hours like most teachers but I limit it far more than I used to.

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You are never caught up. You have to accept that and leave it for tomorrow. I do spend a lot of time planning. Probably too much. I’m virtual, and it’s like being a first year teacher. I set an alarm on my phone to stop. I stop. It will be enough. I do not look at my email or Class Dojo anymore after my contractual end time, or on weekends. 26 years it took me to reach this point. 😊

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Boundaries. Just that. No one person runs a whole school by themselves. You disrespect your admin, academic coach, school secretary, parents etc., when you do their jobs. Stop enabling and give yourself some boundaries.

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Oh! And your department chair! Especially the dept chair!!! Their job is to help you. Let them.

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Can you request an aide or redo your schedule for an extra planning period? Did they give you curriculum for that grade range? I’m not a classroom teacher but that sounds like a huge range to plan for. Wishing you the best and hope it gets better.

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No, I don’t have a parapro and cannot get another planning period. I get 50 minutes a day to play, but 2 of those planning periods a week are taken for meetings. It is a huge range. We are just told to do our best really.

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I didn’t know people didn’t take stuff home!

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Yes! We share our lessons as a grade level team. The hardest part is having faith that your fellow teammates will get their parts done on time. It's like the ultimate group project! 😆

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This is my 34th year of teaching. I have struggled with this issue for 34 years. I do it to myself because I'm always trying to teach the content differently from year to year. My best advice DO NOT get in the habit of this routine, it's hard to break. Do what you can because it'll be there tomorrow or the next day.

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Pick the core subjects; math, ELA, science and build your schedule around them. Mix history with reading, mix math with science and mix ELA with writing. Remember your personal space and respect it. You'll get burned out if you don't.

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