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Get it Together!

KSTF Summer Meeting Presentation

Heather Haines

on 27 July 2013

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Transcript of Get it Together!

Tips for Staying Organized,
Meeting Deadlines &
Maintaining Balance

Heather Haines
2008 Physical Science Fellow
KSTF Summer Meeting 2013
Do Now
Recall a time when you were
What did it look like?
What did it feel like?

Recall a time when you were
What did it look like?
What did it feel like?

The Calendar
"I would like to think I would instantly put them in my calendar, but if I'm being realistic, about half of the time I do that and the other half, I read the email and then continue doing other work, and remember this email less than a week later and add those dates to my calendar."
The Task List
At Your Tables...
Make a list of what being a
disorganized teacher looks and feels like
and what being an
organized teacher looks and feels like
. Be prepared to share out with the group!
Learning Objectives
By the end of this session, teachers will have:

Multiple management strategies, both hard-copy and digital, will be showcased to suit your individual needs and contexts.

Acquired resources for & knowledge about keeping a comprehensive
organizing tasks
, and
managing notes
Theories of Organization
Other People's Great Ideas!
Checklists Save Lives!

Teaching is a complex job!
Why bother?
Learning new math & science
Assessing Students
Providing Feedback
Productive people rule the world!
Habits save brain space!
Teachers have so many decisions to make and so many tasks to complete yet they control so little of the time in their day that they need:

systems for dates and tasks
that they love and trust
weekly meetings
to regroup and reset
long-term data storage
It's the middle of the school day and your department chair emails you with some important dates. What do you do next?
"Read the email, put it in my brain, but don't do anything useful about it."
"Mark the e-mail as unread and save it to write down at the end of the day."
"I write it down on my school calendar/agenda book if I have time, or I make a mental note and make sure I write it down later when I have the time."
Calendar Rules
Your calendar MUST INCLUDE:
ALL regularly occurring & anomalous uses of your time (including classes)
ALL Deadlines
As much detail as possible

Your calendar must be accessible ANYWHERE!
Weekly Worksheets
In a binder, moleskine, planner, etc.
Pro tip: sync it all!
Google to iCal

- https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/99358?hl=en
Google to Outlook

Things to Consider:
Personal/Professional Mix?
What does your school use?
Who are you sharing with?
Get it Together!
The Fundamentals of a Weekly Worksheet
"I write a list and check them off."
What do you do with tasks?
"Paper lists."
"I keep stickies on my computer and on paper."
"I keep a To Do list on my phone for bigger long term things. I write daily To Do list and I use a lot of little scraps of paper."
Task List Rules
In a binder, moleskine, planner, pad of paper etc.
Work Time
Not sure what to do?
Set up a single calendar
Investigate electronic task lists & get everything in one place (NOT your head!)
Think about tasks you enjoy vs. tasks you dread
Figure out when you have the most energy to complete the toughest tasks
Create a weekly worksheet template
What kinds of tasks/meetings/deadlines are you likely to

What kinds of tasks/meetings/deadlines are you likely to

What kinds of tasks/meetings/deadlines do you
find draining
Your #1 Tool!!
The Theory
tasks come in two forms:
Cyclical & Predictable
Urgent & Unexpected
creating & copying a daily Do Now
posting homework on your website
calling advisee's parents quarterly
Chatting with a student about a lost homework assignment
Returning a parent call about the lost homework assignment
Answering emails
How it Looks
What it Does
Known unusual tasks & meetings
Cyclical tasks, deadlines, & meetings
One page document!
We recognize this email is important

We have some tools at our disposal to remember important information
Next Steps:
Teachers need lots of free brain space!

Trusting another tool (post-its, phone, email flag) to remember our deadlines for us requires commitment and consistency
Good vs. Great
Dentist Appt.
State Testing
Dentist Appt. @ 2 PM
State Testing - A block
rm 228
We recognize that we can't remember everything

We have some specific tools at our disposal to remember important information

We recognize that paper is essential, but not the only way
Next Steps:
Trusting your main system

Making tasks manageable sizes

Sorting your tasks effectively
Things to Consider:
Digital vs. Paper?
If digital, which features are important?
Personal/Professional Mix?
Sharing task lists?
Categories that you find meaningful?
What makes tasks more inviting to you?
Good vs. Great
Create quarter 1 exam
Grade lab reports
Email supply order
Call Janine's Dad re: A on test
2. Organize Tasks by Location*
Prep dropper bottles of AgNO3 and NaCl for precipitation lab
Copy Thursday's Do Now
File Graded Work
1. Include both short-term & long-term tasks
Grade Chemistry Quiz 5.2
Buy Mike's Wedding Gift
Read chapter 3 of the Together Teacher for Fall Meeting
Make Dentist Appointment
Call Kristi
call Sarah's guardian
at 617-555-2980
3. Add Detail
the Lab
Wash beakers in the sink
4. Break
it Down
Buy storage tub for precipitation lab stuff
Buy storage tub for precipitation lab stuff
Put test tubes racks away
Time to get picky!
Energy Levels
When do you find yourself tackling difficult tasks?

When do you find yourself most irritable?

When are you most likely to seek distraction?
Self Meeting
Provides a space
for you to
your time
Making the Weekly Worksheet
Basic Template
Energy Levels
"E-mail or write a sticky note to myself about it"
What do you do when you have a thought for a colleague?
"Email them. If I don't have time to email them right then, I almost certainly will forget about it."
"Tell them when I see them. Sometimes send an email."
"I type up a draft of an email of the idea, even if I don't send the email. If my computer is not available, I jot down the main idea on a post it."
Rules for Thoughts to Share
Keep a space in a note collection tool (Evernote, One Note) for each person you communicate with regularly.

Send emails in groups OR save thoughts for in-person meetings.
Making PDFs
Get the thought down somewhere!

Communicating the thought to that person
Next Steps:
Be kind!

Create a thought space for each person you regularly share thoughts with.
Notes & Thoughts
"lose them"
What do you do with your notes from KSTF meetings?
"I have a hard notebook that I eventually started using. I also have lots of folders from the different meetings and some different files on my computer."
"Write them all over the hotel notepads and file them each in those blue folders that we used to get at each meeting. I also type some notes and save them in a folder on my computer."
Rules for Notes
Digitize. Tag.

Put reminders to return to notes in your calendar and task list.
We know they're important (?)

We rarely return to these notes.
Next Steps:
Discover that searchable PDFs are new BFFs

Use tags to organize without excluding

Use your calendar & task list to come back to things later
phone/iPad apps
Scanner Mini/ScannerPro
Using Evernote
Create "notes" for each important person (chair, teaching partner, special educators, advisees)
Use folders to manage large buckets of thoughts (school, personal)
Use tags to manage overlapping thoughts (mentoring, tech tools, orders)
Closing Thoughts
What is ONE WAY you will change your practice before the school year starts?

Fill out the survey, please.

Your own energy
Full transcript