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How to Work ONLY Contract Hours: 5 Tips

In this video, Michelle Ferré from the channel Pocketful of Primary gives teachers 5 tips for only working contract hours. Now, before you click away thinking “That’s impossible!” I’ve summarized the tips for you below the video. Check them out to see if they pique your interest, then watch the video to learn more. I see the topic of ONLY working contract hours coming up more and more for teachers. This is an important part of taking care of your own mental health as a teacher and balancing that work-life thing we always mean to do, but… So check out the video and tips below!

Create a Power List

This is a list of 3-5 things that you set as goals for the day. She argues that more than that becomes overwhelming. These are meant to be items you check off and feel great accomplishment. She suggests using Google Tasks, which is what I use. I like to schedule things visually too, so I arrange the tasks in Google Calendar. This way, regardless of if I’m at my desktop, my laptop, or phone, my tasks are there, visually organized, and handy. Lastly, the power list is 3-5 things that MUST get done and move you towards your goals. You can have weekly or monthly to-do lists, but the daily power list is the 3-5 items that need priority for the day.

Only RESPOND to emails Once Daily

Pick a time in your schedule where you respond to emails. Read emails throughout the day, but only respond during that designated time slot. This creates a flow and saves time by consolidating tasks.

Batch Grade

Batching is grouping like tasks together. This prevents tasks switching which wastes time and fogs the brain. She suggests grading as a key task to batch. You can choose a day during the week to be your grading day where you grade and enter the grades. You can also set a time every day to do this.

Create a Lesson Planning Schedule

This is simply creating a plan for lesson planning. Create daily goals to stay on top of lesson planning rather than going in not knowing where to start. This takes the mountain of responsibility and turns it into smaller hills. Tackle one a day, with a plan, and you will be much more effective.

Collaborate with Other Teachers

Working with other teachers to share the responsibility of lesson planning and prep work is a great way to help you only work contract hours. Try splitting up responsibilities with the other teachers on your team, or find teachers in your district or state that you can collaborate with when it comes to lesson planning. She gives some great examples and suggestions in the video, I highly recommend you watch it.

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