It is 8:30 on day one of four of post planning, and I am DONE with grades. What do with my time for the next four days? It has always been hard for me to get any actual lesson planning done without an imminent class to inspire me, and it is terribly hard to concentrate on serious tasks after the marathon of finishing those last six weeks after spring break! While it may be tempting to wile away the hours with social media and gossip over long lunches, I have a few ideas for how I can stay productive this week even with diminished capacity to concentrate:
- Organize my digital files. I got a new laptop from my school last fall, which meant moving all my files off my old one. Then we got a notice in December that our old desktop computers were being retired, and to back up all our files. After these two transitions, I have copies of my files on Google Drive, One Drive, my laptop, an external hard drive, and a flash drive or two. I need to go through my files and save them all in one place (particularly the files I’ve created on my laptop but not saved on the cloud). I also need to do a culling – it makes it very difficult to find things when my unit folders are cluttered with activities I haven’t used in five years.
- Clean out my file cabinet. I have tried, at various points, to make organized binders for each unit I teach. It is so, so hard to maintain these! Goal number two is at least organize the file folders in my filing cabinet and to toss resources I’ve stopped using. If I get really ambitious perhaps I can get one or two more units transitioned over to a binder, rather than the hodgepodge file folder.
- Make bulletin board resources at the TRC. My district has a wonderful wonderful resource called the teacher resource center: a downtown building with a die cut machine, construction paper in every color imaginable, unlimited laminating (with volunteers to run the machines!) and both color and black and white printers (with daily limits on copies, but still – free color printing!). I want to spend one afternoon next week at the TRC letting the creative juices flow. I want to print and laminate this music fast-finisher station from TPT to use as a bulletin board next year, and perhaps print some other games and resources best seen in color.
- Read professional learning books and blogs.
I actually read quite a bit of The Language Teacher Toolkit while proctoring standardized tests in April, but I still haven’t finished it. I also would like to spend some time going through my backlog of unread blog posts, my saved posts on Twitter and Facebook, and combing through Pinterest to find some ideas for next year, and get those sorted and organized so I remember to use them next year.
5. Collaborate My district has set aside one day for professional learning, and my department is using our time to meet with the language teachers from the other two schools in our district. We did this last year as well and it was such a positive atmosphere of sharing and collaborating. I’m looking forward to sharing my presentation from FLAG as well as my student notebooks, and to learning some new tricks from my colleagues.
How do you stay productive during post-planning?