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I love to teach, but my work-life balance was unhealthy. I was working long into every night, and I couldn’t stop thinking about school. Till one day, I decided to learn smart work habits, so I would only work school contracted hours and stop taking work home.
Eventually I developed what I’d learnt into a PD course which I named ‘Go HERO’ so more teachers can get their life in balance.
A few years into teaching, I went to live and work in Solomon Islands. The local church we attended had a vision for a Christian primary school and asked us to help.
At first, I hesitated, I mean, I love to teach, but hey, I’m not a principal. The thing about working overseas is you soon get asked to do more than you ever thought possible.
I thought it would get easier as we added another year level and more teachers each year, but it didn’t. I was constantly:
I LOVE to teach and the privilege of helping so many teachers and students, but something had to change. I had to learn to work smarter if I wanted a healthy work-life balance.
A small staff meeting – we were discussing pay rises, – so much fun!
I learned to develop strategies that enabled me to work and increase my teacher productivity. I stopped taking work home and started to leave an hour after the students went home with my work done.
The school became one of the top primary schools and seen as a viable option to the International school. Our Year six students graduated their final exams in the top 5% to enter high school, which is important. (Only the top 10% of students get placements in the few senior schools available in the Islands).
Increasingly more teachers wanted to train or/and teach at the school. My students continued to be successful, and my teaching improved.
You, too, can have an healthy work-life balance. It may seem like mission impossible, but I’m here to tell you, even though you love to teach, you can have a life beyond the classroom.
Let me give you the tools to create habits that will flip the switch off so you can stop thinking about school work all the time but still get stuff done.
I can help you reframe your lesson-planning and grading, so you can kill your to-do list and stop taking work home.
Imagine IF, in seven weeks, your workdays were 9 hours work, 7 hours life, 8 hours of sleep, and weekends free!
Read on and discover the seven hacks to win your life back.
I don’t know about you, but I used to think about school work even when I wasn’t physically doing it. I would be devising some new way to arrange the classroom in my head even when trying to get to sleep.
I found a way to Flip the switch immediately, creating smart work habits and getting stuff done. I harness my superhero power to keep me on track.
It makes life so simple. Do you want that same freedom?
There are so many projects we have to get done. Where to start? Sometimes we just stay still in limbo not sure where to begin.
I learned the secret of the hunter. I aim my arrow to hit the target that will knock them all dead.
Instead of whizzing around and going no where trying to complete so many goals, find the ONE to rule them all.
But, not since I devised a simple teacher productivity system that stopped all that. Imagine if you could eliminate excessive hours of planning and have all your weekends free for family time.
I learnt to eliminate excessive hours of planning by creating a digital planner. It has the year at a glance, term focus shortcuts and weekly planning tricks. It works so that I don’t have to re-write my term plans in my weekly planner.
You know when, most of your after-school hours are spent on school work. To combat it, you try to relax watching Netflix but you’re not really because you’re doing school work, so neither gets done well.
Or worse, you’re with your family but you can’t switch off from thinking about school stuff. School takes over everything.
I created the Go HERO quest, so I could get my school work done in my contracted hours, and stop taking work home. Or if I do take work home, I set the timer for one or two hours and get it done because of the systems I’ve set up and a little secret.
Perhaps you just haven’t had the time to get organised so students can run the classroom.
Are your class transitions taking five to ten minutes, and students are out of order during transitions? That’s a lot of time lost in learning when you consider there are at least five transitions per day in your average elementary classroom.
Learn to refine student routines and procedures for your classroom to run smoothly. Get more done in less time, so students have time during transitions and at the end of the day have 10 minutes to do those little jobs that run the classroom on auto-pilot.
My work-life balance solution is simple. To-do lists are out because I never get them done, and many of my Aussie colleagues just groaned at the mere mention of them.
The biggest secret of very productive people is that they don’t use to-do lists; they schedule tasks, and so do I.
Scheduling appointments with myself, which means I get those tasks done, and I’m not wasting time thinking about what I should do.
The idea was to get it all done but not anymore.
The trick is to optimise grading using assessment tricks that work fast. For example, one of the fastest ways I’ve found to grade writing is to use grading keys.
I circle the error and write a number. Students find the number on the grading key, read it and know immediately what the problem is and correct it. Students learn from the mistakes instead of just noting they got a bad grade for an assignment.
Now, if I take grading home, I only take one set of papers, set the timer for one hour and use a set of marking keys to grade fast. Then I relax the rest of the evening.
The course has seven modules and each has four trainings. A FREE copy of my Digital Teacher Planner is included, plus a private social group for support. Read more about the course details here.
On completion of the course, you will receive a 20-hour Professional Development Certificate.
Download a FREE copy of the GO HERO Roadmap