Sunday, September 11, 2011

Get Organized: afternoon routine

I'm seduced by the constant pursuit of "getting organized".  Put that title on the cover of a magazine, and I'm ready to buy it.  Right this minute I have two different organizing books on the short stack of reading material next to my bed.  (New purchases.  Haven't gotten to them yet.  Only seven books on the stack, though.)

But I am learning more and more about myself and my ADD-related need for organization.  FlyLady preaches that routines are the key to getting organized, and I'm trying out that strategy in earnest this school year.  For my students, my classroom functions on routines; the more I establish good routines there, the smoother the little details seem to be, and the better the learning environment.  But I want a piece of routine for myself as well.  When the bell rings at the end of the day, I'm so tempted to put my feet up and turn to the radio and m&m's for comfort.  Not a good strategy at all, but it fairly accurately describes my after-school goings-on for the past few years.

So, in an effort to boost productivity and a sense of order and calm at the end of my day, I created a simple After School Routine
It is very short, administrative in nature, and doesn't require much thought.  No heavy-duty "plan tomorrow's perfect lesson" on that list.  But, after practicing this routine for three days, I feel good.  I haven't put my feet up at the end of the day: I have found a way to be productive during a time that I have often wasted (due to my low energy and a need to escape the residual chaos of 152 teenagers).  My classroom looks better when I leave it; and I am greeted with a more tidy space when I return the next morning.

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