One reason that yesterday wasn't the best teaching/learning day is that it clearly was time for a schedule audit. What does that mean? A schedule audit means taking a close look at the schedule to see what's working and what's not working.
Essentially my schedule has some really good parts--parts that support student learning well. The job now is to stay faithful to what's working and to work a little more to bring parts of the schedule that are weaker up to speed.
As I audited the schedule this morning here's what I found:
Extra Help Sessions
These are very valuable times in the day because students eagerly attend, are open to learning, and I can offer the help they desire.
We have a good schedule for educator support. It took some time at the start of the year to establish this schedule. The challenge is to stay faithful to that schedule and to use the support for maximum positive effect. Specifically that means timely support, giving people who support the students a heads up about what we're doing, and acknowledging the good support that many teachers, assistants, and therapists bring.
We have good time for collegial meetings. The key is to use those meetings in effective ways. One way to be better prepared for these meetings it to give the agenda a bit of thought prior to the meetings and to be prepared for the agenda items you're adding to the mix.
Reflection, Prep, and Response
I find that the best response with regard to students is that personal coaching and response you give each day. I'd rather make more time for extra help sessions that allow me to give personal response than lots of time for at-home correcting. That distant correcting doesn't have the same impact. Daily reflection truly empowers the teaching/learning program as does timely prep.
Time for Personal/Family Health and Care
When we don't make time for this, we are not as effective as we can be in the classroom. It's critical to make time for personal/family health and care.
Right Dress, Good Nutrition
Wearing clothes that let you move freely around the school and playground helps you to fulfill your job expectations and desires more. Similarly good nutrition helps too. This requires time as well.
Reasonable schedules spell success in the classroom. Staying faithful and being prepared for the good schedule set is also integral. As we roll into the second half of the school year, time that we've organized well, it's time to use the good schedule to our advantage to help every child succeed.