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ELA24 ELA24 is offline
 
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ELA24
 
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"Don't take your work home with you"
Old 09-09-2016, 04:51 PM
 
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I've heard this from many people, and read this on many sites, but how is it even possible for a new teacher??????

I'm a new teacher, and I don't know how it's possible to NOT take your work home with you.... because there is so much to do.... so much to work on.... and if you can't finish it at work, then why not take it home?

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to not take work home?

I think there's so much pressure, and stress, to make sure I do my best, and get everything done... but I would like to be able to keep work at work.



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Old 09-09-2016, 05:13 PM
 
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Get a cot. And a hot plate. Live at school. This will also help you to save on rent.

Seriously, I taught for 40 years and I never was able to avoid bringing work home.

During my very last year of teaching, I vowed to stay at school till the work for the day was done: all prep for the next day done and staged on my desk, all papers graded, lab tidied up, prep room clean, copies made, plans for the rest of the week ready.

It worked, sort of, but I still ended up bringing work home sometimes. And I saw my husband a lot less.

I say, figure out what time of day you work best. Try to do your most challenging jobs at that time of day. Work smarter, not harder. Simplify your grading routines. Let kids grade some of their own work (and you just check it over to see how they are doing). Make things easy to grade if you must grade them. Try to get things done during class, not after, if at all possible.

I think it's crazy to think teachers won't take work home. That's part of the job, unfortunately.
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Good goal
Old 09-09-2016, 06:10 PM
 
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I try my best to collect tips in this area now that I'm a mom. I have the opposite goal though. I try to leave right after school Mon-Fri to pick up my son and take nothing home on school nights, and over the course of the weekend I catch up on school stuff for 3-4 hours at home.

Here are some basic tips for any grade level:

1. Keep decorations / bulletin boards simple
2. Use parent volunteers if possible
3. Check work that is just practice work together.
4. Set a timer for each task you are completing.
5. Batch tasks to complete them in bulk
6. Get students to help with simple housekeeping items.
7. I have a drawer labeled for each day of the week.
I stash copies/books/materials needed for each day in these drawers. This makes it easier to plan ahead and makes it easier to prepare when I need a sub unexpectedly.
8.I have the same bell ringer activity each day. In general it's easier to plan lessons that you have a similar format/routine for that way you can have a template lesson plan that you just plug in the new info.
9. Assign students a number and put their papers in order before recording grades into the grade book.
10. Most of my personal teacher materials are saved online in Onedrive rather than having paper files.
This makes it easy to find by using the search box and then send to the copier to print a class set.
11. Use Asana app to keep track of my to do list. (It's awesome!)
12. Stagger your Due Date so you spread out the grading.
13. Carry papers to grade to lunch and meetings to take advantage of in between lag times. Every little helps to cut down on a stack.
14. Keep meetings on track by bringing the conversation back to the agenda
15. Reduce paper as much as possible. More papers is more work... more to copy, more to pass out, more to collect, and more to grade, and then pass out again. I think post-its and whiteboards can help with this at any age.
16. Use planbook.com (I have for 5 years now. It's improved so much over the years)

I'm still on the look out for more ideas too so I've bookmarked your page. Good luck!

Last edited by pausebutton; 09-10-2016 at 03:27 AM.. Reason: More ideas
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Not Possible for Me
Old 09-11-2016, 08:38 AM
 
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For me, I have to bring work home on the weekends. I just feel better being prepared on Monday. Also, I teach English and social studies and have about 130 students. I also have a class I tutor. During my planning period, I am making copies. During my classes, I have proscribed curriculums where I am teaching the entire class. I also come in early every day.

Sunday is my work day. I really can't function when I don't have time to get organized on the weekend. However, I don't do much on the weekdays at home. Although I still work at home, I am about 100% better than I used to be. When I first started, I used to grade journals and essays all day Saturday and then do planning on Sunday. The truth is that I loved every minute of it. I really don't know many English teachers at my district who don't bring home essays to grade. We've never had a teacher work day or extra planning time to grade. The end of the quarter is always brutal with the late work and retests that we have to accept.

I do realize that if I had small children and another job that I would probably have to cut a lot of the things I do. I could still teach, but the frills would be gone. I doubt anyone would even notice. The key is to not burn yourself out.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:40 AM
 
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I would say that after your first few years, you should be able to bring a minimum of work home. I hit a point in my career when I decided that I really didn't mind how late I stayed, but once I left, I was done for the day.


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Old 09-11-2016, 12:15 PM
 
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Everyone is different. I prefer to grade at home sitting in my recliner rather than stay late after school working at my desk so I take most grading home. I go in about every other Saturday morning and work at school. I like the peace and quiet and I basically have the run of the school. I just feel better knowing things are organized. However my children are grown.
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Not so much don't take it home
Old 09-13-2016, 11:26 PM
 
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I think a better phrase is don't carry your work burden on your shoulders.

You'll eventually get in the groove of things and learn to prioritize importance. I still plan and prep lesson plans at home and input grades, but I don't stress over if a kid didn't submit something in or if a coworker said something to me that was out of line.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Everyone is different. I prefer to grade at home sitting in my recliner rather than stay late after school working at my desk so I take most grading home.
I agree! The flexibility is one of the things that drew me to teaching.

I think it's fine if you want to bring things home, and that the caution is really about having a separation between work time and "off" time. Some people need the physical separation of staying at school, some people can bring it home and compartmentalize. Do whatever works for you!
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Don't take your stress with you
Old 09-14-2016, 09:46 AM
 
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Dubby, you make such a great point about not carrying your work burden on your shoulders. As a teacher, you have to take work home with you. That's just a fact of life.

What you need to leave behind is your stress over whatever happened that day, or whatever is going on the next day.

Over my career, I had to learn to compartmentalize my life in order to maintain my sanity. You're not going to fix a student's behavior or help to calm down a parent when you're eating dinner with your family at night. Go on a run or walk the dog if you need some alone time post-school day to help clear your mind, and always remember that you have (and need!) a life outside of teaching. It's what will keep you energized and in love with improving your craft!
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I so agree with everyone!!
Old 09-20-2016, 12:08 PM
 
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I taught for 42 years and in the beginning I was carrying everything home and then back again. The weekends were great for trying to get ahead but I still found that I was taking things home to work on. I used to try to stay later on Fridays and get a lot ready for the next week and that seemed to minimize my work load during the weekend. Don't drive yourself crazy; it will get easier as the time goes on. I just never understood how a new teacher or seasoned teacher leaves the building not taking home any books or work!!
Good luck and enjoy each day as everyday can be quite different.
Retired teacher


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Taking work home
Old 10-11-2016, 06:42 AM
 
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I was a K12 teacher for 18 years, and I learned to take a serious look at the amount of homework and graded work that I gave my students. Many times I just felt that I was a good teacher if I gave a lot of grades, but that added to my stress. If I took the work home to grade and didn't get it done, I felt that I was failing as a teacher. You don't want that type of stress.

Here is a good article I found that might help: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...75293513000494
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Develop efficiency
Old 11-02-2016, 01:11 PM
 
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Put very efficient systems in place to maximize your time.

Touch each paper only once when grading. Record grades and data as you are evaluating, not after.

Think about the things that are sucking your time. What can be delegated? Kids can grade lots of papers in class with each kid having a correcting pen. This way you can see that they are not changing answers.

Good luck to you.
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