It’s summer! 9 weeks may seem like a long time, but between weddings, trips, and prepping for next year, I already know that these two months are going to fly by. In order to make the most of it, here’s what I’m putting into motion:
Setting a weekly focus
I have been following ANGELA WATSON‘s blog for a while and she wrote a post not too long ago called 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO THE BEST SUMMER EVER. I’ve followed her advice to create an end of summer vision and to assign a focus for each week. My three main goals are to (1) have my long range plans completed and an intro postcard/letter sent out to my students; (2) have a morning routine in place to maximize my day and ensure I have time for devos; and (3) have meal plans created for September. This week, my focus is on getting to know my curriculum expectations. I’ve taught all these subjects before, but I’m really hoping to do something a little different this year that allows for more authentic, integrated learning.
Explore something different every day
It’s easy for routine to become monotony when you have a toddler. So, we’ve committed to trying or visiting something different every day. Living in Kingston and in this part of Ontario, there is tons at our fingertips that we haven’t even scratched the surface of. We’re starting local, but we will definitely branch out as the summer goes on and as we venture to other parts of Ontario and North America. So far, we’ve visited a BERRY FARM, taken Andy to his first splash pad, and attended STORIES IN THE PARK. Tomorrow we are heading to the MUSEUM OF HEALTH CARE.
30 day fitness challenge
This last endeavour is three-fold. One, I have not been going to the gym nearly enough, and my diet has been subpar. Plus, throwing out my shoulder when I wiped out while cycling has been a disincentive to any sort of physical activity. Two, we are heading to Bermuda at the end of August. Three, I am teaching 4 classes of phys. ed. next year. In summary, plenty of reasons to get into shape.
I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly productive person, but I also have many moments (and days) that I fritter away mindlessly. A lot of the time it’s those pesky iPhone games. On more than one occasion, I’ve attempted to get rid of them. However, I rationalize keeping Candy Crush and Two Dots because deleting them would likely mean I’d need to start from scratch if I ever re-download. Other times, it’s random odd things that I do around the house. Like on Tuesday when I spent half an hour trying to put together an umbrella stand that only has 3 pieces. It really should not have taken that long.
I’ve always been enthralled by people who manage to do so much with so little time, and I tend to gravitate towards books like Laura Vanderkam’s I Know How She Does It when I peruse local bookstores. Anyways, with my imminent return to work, I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I can do to be more intentional with how I spend my time. Listening to this podcast episode of Cult of Pedagogy gave me a few great ideas, and I’m definitely considering signing up for Angela Watson’s 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club when it opens again in the summer.
In the meantime, here are three things that I’m implementing:
- Scheduling what I do during my “work time”
Twice a week, I have a few hours during the day to get stuff done. This is my most productive time, as my evenings tend to disappear with twitter chats, going to the gym, and random chores around the house. At the start of each of these periods, I write down what needs to be done and assign everything to blocks of time. This helps me stay focused.
- Doing things right away, and keeping my to-do list in one place
When to-dos arise, I sometimes have the ability/time to do it right away. But more often than not, I need to table it for a later time. This is where my moleskine planner comes in. I have it with me virtually all the time, so when I have things that need to get done, they are written down in my weekly to-do list. I refer to it often and squeeze things in every spare moment I have.
- Meal Planning
This is one that I’m still working on. Prior to starting to meal plan, I was going to the grocery store virtually every day. This week, I haven’t gone since Sunday! This has probably saved me a few hours a week! It’s been so nice to not have to think about what we’re having, and it’s great having food prepped and ready to go in the fridge when dinner rolls around.
I am definitely open to more tips/advice if you have any. What do you do to maximize the time you have each day?