Friday, July 18, 2014

School Holiday Tips

If you are anything like me, you have FAR to many jobs on your "To Do" list in the holidays. Six years into this teaching gig, and I still struggle with my holiday workload. For the first couple of years, the reality is that your classroom will dominate your life. You will have SO MANY things that you need to get done, and the only time to do them will be the non-contact holiday time. So here are six lessons that I have learned in my first six years of teaching: 1. Choose ONE project for the holidays that will make a difference to your life next term. Clean out a cupboard, sort some resources, source some resources.... ONE project. Too many projects will rapidly become a mess. They may end up half done, or just wear you out even more. 2. Clean your house. Seriously, it has probably been neglected during term time, and super neglected during report writing time. A spring clean will make you feel way better. 3. Freezer meals will save you come term time. I try and put a couple of pre-cooked meals into the freezer over the holidays. This works really well for me as my husband is away alot, so I cook a huge batch and freeze them in one or two portion sizes. I try and make sure that they are nutritious too, like batches of vege soup or casseroles. I also try and have a family sized curry (or similar) in the freezer for when you have un-expected guests during term time. 4. Treat yourself. If you can, stretch the budget a little. Go out for lunch, catch up with friends. Go shopping. Your soul will thank you for it. 5. Exercise. A walk along the beach, or around the neighbourhood will put you in a much better frame of mind. Trust me. Pulling out those weeds will probably give you a mini-workout and be highly satisfying too. 6. And most importantly... blob out! You are going to need to re-charge. I spend my mornings doing 'jobs' (the cooking, cleaning, grading, planning etc part of my holidays) and then flick a movie on or read a book in the afternoons. It works for me as I am routine based and holidays tend to throw me. So there you have it... six lessons, all learned the hard way.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Assessment Organisation

I LOVE to be organised. It gives me a little thrill to be able to lay my hands on what I am looking for, in a quick and efficient manner. It makes me feel like I have super powers! Managing assessment papers can be tricky. My preferred method is one of those portable concertina file-boxes. One section for each student.
Because I have 24 students and they come with around 30 pockets, I use the ones at the back to store assessment master copies/ marking guidelines and the occasional piece of assessment that is easier to be kept as a whole set. This method particularly comes into its own around reporting time. The file-box is convenient to pick up and take home to refer to if necessary. Better living, everybody!