Posted by: devonteacherblog | March 14, 2012

Not enough minutes in the school day?

Organising the school day to suit the needs of your children can be a daunting process in itself, let alone considering your own needs as a busy teacher.

Once you have sorted the class timetable, how do you ensure you best use the time before and after the children are in the classroom?

Firstly, it is important that you consider what you are like as a person both inside and outside of school. Are you an early bird? Or, like me, do you find it hard to get motivated in the morning? If you know you can get some jobs done before the school day begins then timetable in a morning slot to do some jobs (perhaps 8-8:30am every Thursday you mark homework?). Having it timetabled in also ensures that weekly jobs like this do not get forgotten when your workload is building up.

I find it useful to know that on certain days I do certain jobs but you do need to remember that you may get called to extra meetings or there may be more important jobs that you have to do instead. A simple tick list for weekly jobs can help you work out which jobs you still need to do.

If you plan your time carefully in school then it will obviously reduce your workload at home in the evenings and weekends. Enjoying your weekend and relaxing is so important, you don’t want to begin the weekend with hundreds of school jobs to do.

I try to get some jobs done during break and lunch times at school but it’s vital to give yourself time to relax too. Enjoying a cuppa in the staffroom with your colleagues can totally turn your day around and give you that enthusiasm and energy you needed! I generally don’t get too stressed or bogged down in my job but if I’m honest then there are days (or parts of days) when I suddenly feel that things are getting on top of me. Sometimes the jobs on my dreaded to-do list are building up and I need Bernard’s watch to freeze time. It’s moments like this that I force myself to stop and head to the staff room. Chatting to other teachers I soon realise that we are all in the same boat. We all have lots of jobs to get done and so often we will share the workload. If we all need to think of ideas for National Day then four heads are better than one. Or if I am stuck for ideas for my next writing assessment then there is usually someone who will listen to my ideas and advise me. I am blessed to work with some amazing people with fantastic senses of humour. It is usually just a smile and a laugh I am looking for when I go to the staff room….but a cuppa and some biscuits is also much appreciated!




  1. I teach kindergarten and find my days fly by. My breaks (such that they are) are brief and full of disruption. I get to work at 6:30 AM with a large Starbucks coffee and enjoy the quiet time to get work done, catch up on email, or just sit and my desk and sort out my day. Commiserating with your colleagues is often a needed break in the action!

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