Monday, September 29, 2014

The Juggling Act of September!

Ahhhh, September, how we love thee....
My month of September has been all about experimenting with food
and getting used to 371 students (most of them are nameless to me as I cannot remember that many names)
and learning a new schedule
and preparing lessons for a full class hour with 15 classes with 100% engagement on my part
and trying to keep up with my blog
and Tpt
and just life in general.

I know you can totally relate to this. 
Anyway,  I have read a couple of blogs and posts at TpT lately that are all about the same thing. In particular a recent thread in the Seller's forum at Tpt gave some interesting tidbits on this subject.

How do you balance it all? 
How are you able to be Super Teacher and Super Mom and Super Store Owner and Super Blogger all rolled up in one?


There is no easy answer, but after some reading about this and thinking about it  I have compiled some things for us to think about! 
Are you ready?

Maximize Your Time 
Over and over  I found this to be advice for us.
Silly Sam Productions  says  listen to your own intuition. When parts of your life need more focus, then slow down and work on those. When your body is telling you to rest, then read, relax, and rest. Listen to your creative side, too! When new ideas don't seem to be working, put it away. Approach it the next day with fresh eyes. I can't tell you how many times I just cannot seem to get a design right and I finally put it away. The next day everything just falls into place.
Third Time's a Charm suggests the same thing about using our time well. When you have those planning breaks at school, use every minute. I find myself spending way too much time talking to other teachers. Renee Dawn also says to prioritize. What is most important? If you can't keep up with blogging weekly, then don't. Set your own pace and know your limits. If a new product doesn't get finished, work on it tomorrow or the next day.

If this all seems a little scrambled, then try this:

Create a Schedule
This sound so simple and it really is! Erin Waters  says she makes her schedule every week on the same day. She has to-do lists for school, home, TpT, and I would add my blog to that list. The key seems to be setting realistic, reachable goals. I can't set a goal to blog weekly, because some weeks just don't work. I am sure you are like that, too. Luckeyfrog says to not even try to fit it all in.  Several people have mentioned using scheduled blog posts and Facebook posts. I have actually been doing that. I have about three blog posts started and saved. I add to them when I have time and one day they will be finished!

Well, I know we all do that. For me school comes first, then Tpt, then blogging. Yes, I know family and faith should come first, but that goes without saying!
Shelly Rees has a list to follow in order of priority. She works on the top of her priority list the most. Yara, Sea of Knowledge also prioritizes but takes care of urgent things first. Shelley Gray says she makes to-do lists for the week, but not by day. That way she can choose what to work on each day. I love that! Literacy without Worksheets says something similar- her Tpt list is separate from her other to-do lists! Another great idea!

Now, you guys know I love Pinterest! I find myself scrolling through sections when I am waiting somewhere. It's something you can do so easily and put away quickly. What about pinning products for your store? The Purple Teacher has everything scheduled, but pins during quick moments when she has time. Many of us keep a spreadsheet for pinning products. Here's a great idea from Science and Math with Mrs. Lau. She pins during the weekdays only and gives herself a break on the weekends! That is now on my list of things to do! Techie Turtle Teacher is another teacher that suggests scheduling things and using a calendar for this. I know we all do a lot of this- otherwise Erin Condren would not be in business!

Inspiration and Encouragement
Wow, isn't this really what is it all about? We, teachers, especially love to get together and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. We find our best ideas and best cheerleaders when working it out with other teachers. The Teaching Files reminded us of something I am sure we all know. If you are a TpT seller, the Seller's forum is your life-saver. You will find help, answers to questions, ideas, inspiration, and encouragement there! The Trapped Librarian added best wishes to all of us with a reminder that we are all striving for balance.

Thank you, Wonderful Kinder, for starting this thread in the Seller's forum. I learned a lot and hope these little giblets of wisdom from other teachers will be helpful to you, too!
If you are not a TpT seller, why not join us! It's super easy to do!

(Yes, I linked back to the stores of all those teachers, so you can see many different stores, products, and maybe put a face to the names. Enjoy!)


  1. Thank you for linking back to my store! One of my goals for this year is to market more and you just did some for me!! One thing that helped me with talking to teachers instead of being productive was to hide from them! I know it sounds bad, but when it came down to it, I'd rather be chatting with my husband at 4PM then sitting at my computer responding to parent emails because I was too busy during planning time gossiping in the work room!

    There were times I hid and did work in the library, and sometimes I'd even turn my light off and shut the door and people would walk right on closest teacher friends knew what I was doing and would sometimes come in, but they didn't mind if I talked to them halfway while writing plans, either!

  2. Thank you !
    your post is great and It is so helpful for me.

    1. Thanks so much! I had a lot of help from TpT Friends!

  3. Carol, love your post. I have over 22 classes and over 410 students. I totally relate. This month was exhausting. To add to it we have teacher effectiveness with Teachscape in Wisconsin to prove we are good teachers. Love the ideas from the links you used. It feels a bit better to know I am not alone. Not many of us teach "just" science. Love it though!

  4. Hey, thanks for linking to my store! I am just seeing this now. Great blog!

    1. Thanks for visiting Bethany! I just re-read this post and could easily change it to "How We Juggle it All During the Christmas Rush!"


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