Students don’t realize that when the school day ends, their teachers’ work is really just beginning—studying, grading, phone calls, e-mails, planning, etc., etc. Help! This list of suggestions can serve as a springboard for helping teachers prepare for tomorrow but still get out the door today!
Ready the Room
The goal is to not spend much time cleaning up the room upon returning from afternoon dismissal.
1. Each student completes a checklist before he or she leaves the room:
- Books are straightened in desk.
- Trash in and around the desk is collected and thrown away.
- Writing utensils are sharpened as needed and put away.
- Coats, lunchboxes, backpacks are ready to go.
2. Students know responsibilities to be done during pack-up time:
- Declutter counter spaces.
- File papers.
- Pick up trash around the room.
- Erase boards as needed. (Have the not-to-be-erased work in a different color.)
- Put away teaching visuals.
- Organize learning areas: science display corner, reading corner, art counter.
Pull Visuals for the Week
The Abeka Curriculum Guide provides a list of visuals needed per subject, per day and in the order the visuals are used.
- Select one day a week to pull all of the flashcards and charts needed for the lessons the following week.
- Separate the days with sticky notes or simply crisscross the items. The benefit of doing this is you only have one place to go for all teaching visuals, and it mentally prepares you for the week to come.
- Create or purchase additional visuals desired.
Prep Teaching Aid Board
The Abeka Curriculum Guide suggests content to put on the board.
- Begin with your first subject of the day. Think through what is going on the board. Is it for student use or teacher use?
- Place the elements in the order in which they are taught. Attach chosen cards (especially if the board is magnetized) right beside these elements. This level of organization is very helpful for anyone, but especially for a sub.
- Thinking through how you will use the boardwork is actually preparation for the next day’s lesson.
Devise a Storage System for Board Brighteners and Concept Illustrations
Teachers are great at coming up with ideas. Look what these inventive teachers do!
Keep looking for ways to maintain excellence in the classroom while at the same time not face burnout. You can do it!
Bonus: Planning for a Substitute
Keep a Substitution Folder
- Class list—put icons by names of reliable “helpers” as well as “challenges”
- Teacher schedule—include dismissal duty and hall duty
- Current seating chart
- Location of plans and materials
- Procedures—fire drill, snacks, lunchroom, playground, early dismissal
- Important student information—food allergies, medicine, special needs
- Thank you note