Teacher Time Saver

This week I got an email from Jess @ VolunteerSpot asking me if I would be willing write a blog post about Carson-Dellosa.  Since I was already a fan of their bulletin board materials, this was an easy request to answer.  While VolunteerSpot is compensating me, these opinions and experiences are my own.  

Do you find yourself relating to the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?  You know the character who said, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date?"  It seems like there is never enough time in our day to get everything done that is on our to do list.

At one of my faculty meetings when our principal was introducing yet another new "expectation" that was being placed upon us, there were some frustrated teachers - to put it mildly.  Hands were shooting up left and right after we heard the latest thing we needed to accomplish in our already packed schedule.  While our principal understood where we were coming from, this was coming down from "above" so her hands were tied.  She told us we need to learn to work smarter.

What does work smarter mean?  I decided to take the approach like many diet programs such as Weight Watchers use.  When you want to lose weight, the first thing you are told to do is to keep a food journal.  You need to know where all of those sneaky calories are coming from.  I needed to know what was using up my valuable time.  I found I wasted A LOT of time socializing.  Maybe it's a teacher thing?!!!  I was always chit chatting before, during, and after school.  I found I saved a bunch of time by eating in my classroom four days a week.  I ate in the teachers' lounge on Fridays.  Closing my door before and after school Tuesday - Thursday cut down on interruptions.  This still gave me Mondays and Fridays to catch up with my friends.  Teachers that had school related questions would still come see me Tuesday - Thursday.  The closed door helped with the non-school chat sessions.

The other sneaky time thief was bulletin boards.  I know some people do not like putting them up.  But, I was the exact opposite.  I loved, loved, loved decorating bulletin boards.  I changed several of mine each month and decorated my door, too.  I found the whole process relaxing.  I had one intuitive custodian that noticed I changed my seating chart or bulletin boards when my class had a bad day.  When he walked into my room after school and saw me in the middle of a revamp he knew I had had a bad day.  He usually knew the culprit since he was in the cafeteria at lunch time.

Now it just isn't in my personality to have the same bulletin board up for the entire year.  I would go stir crazy!  So, how could I simplify things . . . work smarter.  One of the things I did was hung up a giant tree.  I laminated the tree and hot glued it to a wall.  I put a student desk that no one was using beside the tree and made a behavior station.  Students filled out a form about their classmates when they did a random act of kindness.  I used seasonal things so what my students were writing on and hanging on the tree changed.  It took very little time to copy off new seasonal notes.  The tree stayed up the entire year.  When I took down the notes, I sent them home with my students.  These were great keepsakes and parents loved them, too.

Carson-Dellosa has a FREE printable that is perfect for a behavior station.
Click HERE to get your FREE copy.

Here are a couple of trees that would work perfectly for a behavior station.
Click HERE to purchase this tree.

Click HERE to purchase this tree.

I made a couple of signs that you can use in your behavior station.  There is a colorful version and black & white version.

Click HERE to download these signs.

Freebie Fridays


Laura said...

So cute, Michelle!! Thank you for these great tips and printables :) I love Carson Dellosa too!!

Fern Smith said...

What great tips, thanks for the freebies too!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

Anne Leah said...

This is a great methodology to apply for elementary ed tutoring. Kids could be hard to deal with. They need to be motivated in such a way that they don't feel too much pressure. Giving intensives to perform well is a nice idea.