The biggest mistake that most elementary school teachers make is thinking that being the last car in the parking lot makes you a good teacher. But here's the thing, it doesn't. It took me many years to figure that out.
The last car in the parking lot
I have been an elementary school teacher since 2005 and early on in my teaching career, I believed that in order to be effective, productive, and a good teacher, I had to stay late and bring work home with me.
I was often the last car in the parking lot only to get home, turn my computer on with a bowl of cereal and get back to work. I'd be lesson planning or catching up on parent emails and grading.
On the weekends I go into my classroom to make copies, get materials ready, try to organize some of my files and my cabinets. I was thinking at the time this was the only way to do things, no one ever showed me anything differently. I just thought, “Well, this is what teaching is like. This is what I signed up for.”
Everyone always tells you that staying late and putting in those extra hours makes you a good teacher. So it's really easy to fall into that trap and if you're doing this, then chances are you're experiencing things that I did.
But then you're probably wondering, how else can I get everything done on my to do list if I'm not staying late every day and often the last to leave school?! I'll share with you the system I used when trying to fly by the seat of my pants just wasn't cutting it any longer!
You're a good teacher
Now I know you are dedicated and you want to be the best teacher that you can be, you want to be able to meet the needs of all of your students. You want to create engaging lessons and you want to have fun with them.
You want to love what you do. You want to look forward to going to work every single day. Now, you really want to get to know your students, you want to go above and beyond for them and you want to feed your passion or teaching small humans and shaping their lives.
Now that's pretty awesome, but you may be thinking, “Dang, it has been so long, so, so long since you had time for any of that.” You're just given so much to do and I get it. I have been there.
Right now you may be thinking that your checklist never ends no matter how late you stay in the classroom or how much work you bring home with you. Your attention is pulled in 127 different directions throughout the day which means you almost never feel like you're doing enough for your students and that feeling is heartbreaking.
So let me ask you, what does staying later have to do with your ability and skills to teach? Can't bad teachers that don't have the skills, the patience and the ability stay late too? Does that automatically make them a great teacher?
No, of course not, and what's worse? If you continue to sacrifice your time and your energy by losing yourself in your work, that will actually hurt your performance. Not to mention, your personal life.
A good teacher has a system
So what actually makes you a great teacher? How do you get to be a good teacher without staying late every day? You need a system that makes the best use of your time while also protecting it, but sometimes those systems and routines take a long time to figure out and they're not always easy to figure out and you and me both know that as teachers, we don't have a lot of time to be figuring all of this stuff out.
What if I told you that there is a way you could spend less time on figuring out these systems and routines and more time on the bits and pieces and parts of teaching that you really love and still have time to go home at the end of the day and completely switch off from work?
No, it's not too good to be true. It is entirely possible. That's why I created a method to help busy elementary school teachers just like you be more prepared and effective so that you can leave your school stuff at school.
The System That All Teachers Need
The The Organized Teacher Framework is the number one way to leave school prepared every day. This system is a road map that walks you through how to set up centers, your library, planning, grading, caregiver communication, managing student work and absences, paper work, boundaries, and so much more!
I created it to solve the common problems I was facing in my classroom every day.
So, do you want to continue sacrificing your happiness in order to be a good teacher who has to continue to miss your favorite workout class and nail appointment or even time with your spouse?
Or do you want to use the Organized Teacher Framework to be the best, organized teacher you can be and finally make it to your daughter's softball practice or make it home in time to cook a home-cooked authentic meal? Or maybe you just want to catch up with some friends over a glass of wine.
Do you want to keep staying past three o'clock every day or do you want to leave at three and have time for the things that you love? Now, I know what I'm choosing and if you want to choose it too, then join me and all of the other teachers who want the same by learning about The Organized Teacher Framework.