Here's my current course load, just so you can see where I'm at.
1st Period- Planning Period (no students)
2nd Period- 8th Grade Language Arts Regular (Reading/Writing)
3rd Period- 8th Grade Language Arts Regular (Reading/Writing)
4th Period- 8th Grade Language Arts ET (Gifted- Reading/Writing)
5th Period- 8th Grade Enrichment Course (Genius Hour)
6th Period- SLC (Small Learning Communities/Homeroom)
7th Period- 7th Grade Language Arts 1 ET (Gifted/Reading)
8th Period- 7th Grade Language Arts 2 ET (Gifted/Writing)
9th Period- 8th Grade Language Arts 1 ET (Gifted- Reading/Writing)
Our classes are 42 minutes long, and my 8th grade classes only meet for one period, as these students take foreign language in lieu of a second period of Language Arts, so I teach both reading and writing in the 42 minute class)
1. Teacher Planner and Calendar
You must have a planner. I've made my Erin Condren Teacher Planner work for me as a secondary teacher, repurposing some of the pages that are more elementary. I love using the main calendar for meetings and reminders that are not academic, this helps me have one place to look for things happening in the morning and afternoon.
2. Monthly To-Do List
A to-do list that is specific to each month. This does not include daily copies I need to make, but more long-term/monthly goals that I need to finish. This includes forms I need to turn in, upcoming due dates, etc...
3. Weekly Planning
I use a paper planner to sketch out my weeks, along with Schoology. This is super helpful for me to sketch out and see what I'm doing, and writing it helps me remember. I color code my classes, and then divide my book out by course.
Keeping the colors consistent is helpful for me, and always putting the same type of activity in the same box (ex. bellringers on the first line, homework on the last two lines) helps me find information quickly.
4. Long Term Planning
I use my extra notes section to do long-term planning. Obviously this looks different throughout the year, but I can sketch out what selections I'm using based on testing data, and I can rewrite this each quarter to include specific selections. You can see that this quarter is very specific (2-3 week increments) and then they get chunked out for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter. This will be super helpful to have a timeline as I get closer to maternity leave as well.
5. Short-Term To Do List
I have this awesome pad from C.Jayne Teach that is divided into four quadrants, "Things to Do", "People To Email", "Pages to Copy" and "Students to See". As much as I loved having it on my desk, I decided to fold it in half and laminate it. Then I clipped it into my TP with the coil clips, and I use a wet erase marker for to-do lists that change weekly.
Here's where I mark things that must get done this week, as well as staff and parents I need to get in touch with. (Covered to protect parent names)
I make a ton of copies during the week, and having this right in my planner is very helpful! My students to see includes students who may be absent, or need benchmarking.
6. Copy Folder
Here's my folder with all of the items on my "Pages to Copy" list. I keep this in my planner, and make sure I have it when I take my planner home. This way, if there are no meetings, I can go straight to the copy machine in the morning before I even go to my room!
Do I still get frustrated? Oh, yes. Sometimes I feel like my head will explode trying to juggle everything, but this helps me at least keep treading water!
Today is my Work Free Wednesday (no school work happening in this house tonight)! Did you take my challenge I posted on the Middle School Mob last week? How's it going?