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The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time!




The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time!

Maia Heyck-Merlin, Norman Atkins (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-13821-2 June 2012 Jossey-Bass 352 Pages

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An essential guide for over-scheduled teachers

Maia Heyck-Merlin helps teachers build the habits, customize the tools, and create space to become a Together Teacher. This practical resource shows teachers how to be effective and have a life! Author and educator Maia Heyck-Merlin explores the key habits of Together Teachers—how they plan ahead, organize work and their classrooms, and how they spend their limited free time. The end goal is always strong outcomes for their students.

So what does Together, or Together Enough, look like? To some teachers it might mean neat filing systems. To others it might mean using time efficiently to get more done in fewer minutes. Regardless, Together Teachers all rely on the same skills. In six parts, the book clearly lays out these essential skills. Heyck-Merlin walks the reader through how to establish simple yet successful organizational systems. There are concrete steps that every teacher can implement to achieve greater stability and success in their classrooms and in their lives.

  • Contains templates and tutorials to create and customize a personal organizational system and includes a companion website:
  • Recommends various electronic or online tools to make a teacher's school day (and life!) more efficient and productive
  • Includes a Reader's Guide, a great professional development resource; teachers will answer reflection questions, make notes about habits, and select tools that best match individual needs and preferences

Ebook customers can access CD contents online.  Refer to the section in the Table of Contents labeled, Download CD/DVD Content, for detailed instructions.

Contents of the CD ix

Foreword xiii
Norman Atkins

Part One: Get Clear on What Matters 1

Introduction 3

Planning, Organization, and Efficiency Matter Even More for Teachers • What Do I Mean by Together? • Why This Matters to Me • How the Book Is Arranged • How to Use This Book

Chapter 1: Rules Over Tools: Create Your Ideal Week 13

It Can Get Easier—A Step-by-Step Approach • I’m Not a Dictator, but There Are Some Rules • The Tools • Components of a Great Organization System • Let’s Get Started

Part Two: Take the Long View 29

Chapter 2: No More Missed Deadlines: Make a Comprehensive Calendar 31

The Multiple-Calendar Dilemma • The Comprehensive Calendar: What Is It? • Together Teachers’ Comprehensive Calendars • Pick Your Tool: Where Will You Keep Your Comprehensive Calendar? • The Up-Front Investment: Create Your Comprehensive Calendar • Keep Your Comprehensive Calendar Alive • Why Is This Important, Again? • Get Started: Next Steps

Nilda: A Day in the Life 57

Chapter 3: Corral the To-Dos: Create an Upcoming To-Do List 59

Upcoming To-Do List: What Is It? • Using Your Upcoming To-Do List • Together Teachers’ Upcoming To-Do Lists • Pick Your Tool: Where Will You Keep Your Upcoming To-Do List? • Get Started Slogging Through the Post-its • Keep It Alive: Enter It Immediately! • Why Is This Important, Again? • Get Started: Next Steps

Chapter 4: Never Forget! Capture Your Thoughts 79

Setting the Scene • A Closer Look at Thought Catchers • Together Teachers’ Thought Catchers • Pick Your Tool: Where Will You Keep Your Thought Catchers? • The Initial Investment: Setting Up Your Thought Catchers • Making Your Thought Catchers Work for You • Why Do We Need Thought Catchers Again? • Get Started: Next Steps

Gilbert: A Day in the Life 98

Chapter 5: Beware the Notebook Vortex: Take Great Notes at Meetings and Professional Development 101

Setting the Scene • Beware the Notebook Vortex • The Explanation: What Are Meeting/ PD Notes? • Back from the Dead: Doing Something with Our PD Notes • Pick Your Tool: Where Will You Keep Your Notes? • Making the Most of Small-Group Meetings • Get Started: Next Steps

Part Three: Narrow Your View 117

Chapter 6: A Week’s Worth of Readiness: How to Look Ahead 119

The Tote Bag Calls to You from the Corner of the Room • A Closer Look: What Is a Weekly or Daily Worksheet? • Together Teachers’ Weekly Worksheets • Together Teachers’ Daily Worksheets: A Different Option • Choose a Product That Works for You • Get Started Customizing: Narrow Your View • Why Do I Need to Narrow My View? • Get Started: Next Steps

Jeff : A Day in the Life 140

Chapter 7: Automate: Create Routines for Planning 143

The Power Workout: The Weekly Round-Up • Daily Routines: Making the Most of Openings and Closings • Use Those Preps to Their Fullest • Creating Routines: Why Does This Matter, Again? • Get Started: Next Steps

Chapter 8: Ward Off the Demons: Keep Those Organizational Muscles Strong 165

Keeping Those Organizational Muscles Working: Your Daily Exercise • I’m Routined, I’m Planned, but the Work Still Isn’t Getting Done • Five Demons That Haunt Us: Some Common Human Behaviors

Anna: A Day in the Life 173

Part Four: All That Other Stuff! 175

Chapter 9: Tame the E-Mail Beast: How to Manage Your In-Box 177

Setting the Scene • E-Mail Is Not the Enemy, but . . . • Set Up Your In-Box for Success • Admit You Are Part of the Problem: Create Better E-Mail Habits • Clarity Is King • E-Mail: Use It, Don’t Abuse It! • Get Started: Next Steps

Chapter 10: Create Stations: Arrange Your Classroom to Run Like Clockwork 201

Setting the Scene • An Overview of the Stations • Enter and Exit Carefully: Create Your Classroom Foyer • Stocking Up the Kitchen: Keeping Necessary Ingredients on Hand • Battle of the Books: Classroom Libraries and Textbooks • Tame the Technology: Get Those Cords Under Control • Spic-and-Span Classroom • Why Does This Matter, Again?

Dan: A Day in the Life 234

Chapter 11: Subdue the Backpack Explosion: Set Expectations for Student Stuff 237

Setting the Scene • Contain Student Papers • Past and Present Student Work • Pencils and That Other “Stuff ” • Why Does This Matter, Again?

Chapter 12: Deal with Your Paper and Stuff: How to Find What You Need in Under Ten Seconds 251

Setting the Scene • What to Carry When You Are on the Move: Your Together Teacher System and a Teacher Clipboard • Use Your Desk for Something Other Than Storage • Create a Suitcase: Transporting Work Between School and Home • Your Teaching Materials • Finding What You Need When You Need It: Reference Information and File Cabinets • Why Does This Matter, Again?

Part Five: Become a Together Teacher 273

Conclusion: Become a Together Teacher 275

Dealing with Deluge: Can Your System Survive Under the Pressure? • Get Started: A Month-by-Month Implementation Plan • Why the World Needs Together Teachers

Sue: A Day in the Life 281

Recommended Resources for the Together Classroom 283

Resources: Books, Blogs, Applications, and More! 287

Meet the Together Teachers 289

Join Us Online ~ Share Your Story 296

Appendixes 297

Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms 299

Appendix 2: The Weekly Round-Up: Your Agenda 301

Appendix 3: Project Plans for Teachers 305

Appendix 4: Sample School Communication Agreement 309

Appendix 5: Classroom Efficiency: Quick and Dirty Tips 313

Acknowledgments 317

About the Author 321

Index 323