The end of the school year is enough to make any teacher’s head spin.
Sounds simple, right?
Not when you have a million dates coming from a million directions! Not without a current (and accurate!) school calendar to refer to! Not without your own personal assistant!
During the last month of school, Erin had…
…a talent show to attend
…report cards due
…skate night and bowling night
…make-up state testing
…conference calls for her summer job
…and, last but not least, close out meetings with her instructional coach.
Not to mention personal events like…
…seeing her best friend graduate from law school
…two concerts to attend
…and a close friend coming to Atlanta for the weekend!
It was going to take a tremendous amount of precision for Erin to avoid having one of those uh-oh moments when she realized that Fifth Grade Skate Night collided with a concert she had been looking forward to for months.
Erin uses a simple hand-written Comprehensive Calendar to keep it all together. Let’s look at everything flying at her, and figure out where it came from.
- Skate Night and Bowling Night planned by fifth grade team: Dates were delivered in grade-level meeting.
- Coach sent out the field day notice with the students: Plucked that date off the handout! Keep your eyes peeled!
- Bought tickets to two concerts: Erin got the email confirmations and added these dates to her Calendar right away.
- Best friend graduating from law school: She told Erin the date on the phone!
- Make-up state testing dates: Got those from the Atlanta Public Schools website.
- Talent show: A colleague from first grade told Erin the date in the hallway!
- Report cards due: This one was announced in a staff meeting.
While Erin could attempt to remember all of these dates in her brain, why should she? Who has the mental space after a day (or even an hour) of teaching?
Instead, she keeps her Comprehensive Calendar with her at all times: when she checks email, when she is on the phone, when she’s in staff and grade level meetings, when she’s walking down the hallway and when she stops by her office mailbox.
This way, Erin doesn’t have to worry she will forget to prep her classroom for make-up testing. She can plan ahead so she’s not stuck correcting papers the weekend her friend comes to visit. She can get those reports cards done before the night before they’re due. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
For you teachers who are more electronically-inclined, you can enter the dates directly in your Smartphone right when you receive them.
Together Habit: Enter personal and professional deadlines and events immediately upon receiving them. Keep your Comprehensive Calendar on your person at all times! All times, people!
Reflection Question: What will you do to make your last month of school a little easier to juggle?