Friday, June 29, 2012

Chapter 1 - The Together Teacher

Chapter 1 - Rules over Tools...I like this book because it is not preachy. It gives you options and doesn't ask you to go buy anything. It gives you general ideas and lets you taper those ideas with what works for you. Maia gives you 10 "rules" (which I look at as more of a guideline for success):
  • 1.  Get everything in one place. (Basically, don't spread your info to the winds! Don't have 5 different calendars with different info on each...one for work...one for home...kids...etc.  I am guilty of this!) Have your info in a portable form that can be synced (ie. web-based program to smartphone, etc)
  • 2.  Take it with you. (Make your personal calendar portable. Don't try to keep everything in a 3 in binder! Make sure you can take it with you at all times.)
  • 3.  Write everything down.  (Write everything so that you leave space in your brain...we only have so much room in there!)
  • 4.  Make it bite-sized.  (Be specific but not wordy...instead of "field trip"...be more specific without being wordy...as in "field trip to Rainforest Adventures, 1-3 pm...send parent reminder")
  • 5.  Keep like items with like items.  (Don't mix big to-dos with little to-dos...."clean out closet" should be in a separate area away from "make Dr. appt.")
  • 6.  Create a trigger for what you put away.  (Make a note to yourself when you file away an important e-mail that needs later attention (so it doesn't get lost), or other things that can't be dealt with immediately but needs "sooner rather than later" attention.)
  • 7.  Mind your energy levels.  (We all know if we are "morning" "afternoon" or "evening" types of people. Save your energy-laden tasks for the times when you are at your best. Do things that don't require as much mental energy for your "down" times).
  • 8.  No tool is forever.  (Ain't it the truth!  Jobs, duties, students, work situations, and everything changes. Be ready to change your calendar/tool as other things change.)
  • 9.  Own your schedule.  (Be aware of things in your schedule that don't change...ie. work times, time for grading, planning, phone calls, progress reports, and other non-negotiable demands and pencil them in first).
  • 10.  Pause to plan.  (Make time each week/month to sit down and write down what needs to be done. Don't forget to schedule in time for family, exercise, and just plain FUN.)
This is, of course, a much abbreviated version of this wonderful first chapter. Maia goes further into each of these "rules". I just wanted to give you an overview and hit the high points.  Let me know what you think....and if you want me to continue sharing this book :)    Teri

Check it out on Amazon!