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Coping with the amount of work

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by ipswichlatebus, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter


    How do u cope with a busy schedule at work and out of work.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    1. Prioritise.
    2. Distinguish betweeen urgent and important.
    3. Delegate, and use this as professional development for both parties.
    4. Schedule time to work through your email and paper in-trays; outside this time just let them fill up. Then the 4D approach:
    Delete if irrelevant
    Delegate if possible - immediately
    Deal immediately if this will take less than 3 minutes
    Defer to a scheduled time in your diary​
    5. Replace information-only meetings with notes or emails.
    6. Ensure you have some time, scheduled, when you will be uninterrupted.
    7. Share - resources, lesson plans, admin systems, whatever, so you and your dept aren't reinventing the wheel.
    8. Because you have prioritised, you'll know when you've done enough for the day and can stop, because the less important things simply won't get done.
    ipswichlatebus likes this.
  3. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    The one thing that I found necessary was the ability to walk into most lessons and teach with minimal or even zero preparation. some people would call this experience. i tend to thing that many people have problems because they are promoted too early.
    agree with the above 8 as well. If you try to do and know everything then you will fail.
  4. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    Good advice
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I'd agree with this. The ability to take over a lesson with no notice, or to dive in to solve a problem, is important.
  6. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    All of my department are stressed as we are one member of staff down at the minute and because we are trying to get everything organised as at February half term we are moving into a different location within the school.
  7. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    I like Skeoch's list. Here's some time-saver tips I'd posted on another thread. In no particular order:

    Don't open an email unless you have time to immediately reply to it/action it. Try to clear all unread e mails on a daily bassis.

    Extend the display on your computer: that way, when students are watching a video/working from a power point presentation on the projector, you can use your computer to answer e mails, input data, take the register, cue up the next lesson, etc

    When scheduling tasks for yourself, mark them urgent, necessary and desirable. Then do one of the desirable tasks, then the necessary ones, then the urgent ones. If you only ever do the urgent things, somethings just never get done.

    Write deadlines into your diary at least 2 days before they actually fall. For really important deadlines (e.g. coursework moderation, exam entries) put them in a week before.

    If you know somebody you work with is following the 3 time rule for e mails, don't waste you time e mailing them. Go and see them.

    Always go and see people. That then allows you to control when you leave; if they come to you, it can sometimes be hard to get them out of your room!

    Mark in lessons as much as possible.

    Train your students to peer mark accurately. If they say what you would have said, all you need to do is write "I agree" next to it.

    Have students stick in the success criteria for tasks into their books. Then all you have to do is highlight in green for WWW and red for EBI when you mark (rather than having to write the same thing over and over again in 30 books).

    Be careful about advertising this fact. My HoD at a previous job - an extremely talented teacher with 10+ years experience - used to do this often. She had to. What she probably didn't have to do was let people know that she was doing this, but she would talk quite candidly about walking into classrooms with no idea what she was going to teach or whom. The end result was that staff and students lost respect for her.

    Good luck.
  8. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    I have two monitors attached to my. Computer in my classroom so I can defo have stuff on the projector on one screen and have emails, register and other things on the other monitor.

    Why should I write deadlines in the diary two days before hand and why is going to see people better then having them come to me.

    What is the three time rule for emails.

    I will defo take your advice and do more marking in lessons, more self marking or. Peer marking activities and get the students each lesson from next week to stick in the criteria for the lesson so i can highlight if they passed it or not.

    Any other advice or tips would be appreciated.
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Early deadlines mean that you get things done in advance and don't work ineffectively in panic mode.

    Three time rule is "ignore the first two emails about something, only bother to answer the third" - it's a mildly incompetent and impolite way of trying to avoid work.
  10. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    Should i use one monitor for projecting stuff through the projector and one for emails, registers and stuff I need to do.

    What do u think is the best method for that.
  11. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    It means you can control when the meeting is over (by leaving). If people come to see you, they can often end up taking up more time than you really want to give them.
  12. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    Should i use one monitor for projecting stuff through the projector and one for emails, registers and stuff I need to do.

    What do u think is the best method for that.
  13. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Go and get some training.
    VeronicAmb and sbkrobson like this.
  14. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    If you feel you need two monitors etc you definitely need help,
    When I started teaching computers did not exist - we had a planner.
    I finished my career teaching computer science - I never used two screens - any admin done when no students around. Set yourself a working pattern and stick to it.

    For example - if you must take work home never work past 9pm - anything you do will be garbage after that be you need to wind down and sleep

    Never work Friday nights or Saturday - in my case winding down and watching football

    Work life balance is crucial!
  15. ipswichlatebus

    ipswichlatebus New commenter

    Ok u got any other tips
  16. badgardener

    badgardener New commenter

    Are you quite young, Ipswich?
  17. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I am guessing Ipswich is still in school uniform and that he has a lot of time on his hands.
  18. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    This is the key. There will be times when “my door is always open...” isn’t a good idea.

    Also, if you teach, you can think that you’re not as effective as you were before taking on time consuming leadership duties. It’s a tough one. Not enough time to be the best possible teacher, or the best possible leader. We’re not very good at being ‘good enough’.

    But don’t expect any sympathy.
  19. richwrigley

    richwrigley New commenter

    As relatively new HOD this is really helpful. I would agree with a lot of the points, but I would also say that it is is important to lead by example. A few points ago, people were mentioning walking into a class without much of a plan. I think it is pretty obvious that we all have to do that at some points, but it is essentail to not to make much of a habit out of it as 1. the kids will figure this out pretty quicly. and 2. if you are responsible for observing the rest of your team, they are not going to respect your observations and critiques as much.

    I also found this video really useful when I was an NQT, its probably pretty ovbvious now but I like watching it every now and then.
    tb9605 likes this.
  20. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    I find that the omission of letters in written forms of communication saves me enough time to catch up...

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