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teacher training advice - organization tips/tricks/ideas

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by pinkpaperprincess, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Hello all! I will be starting a a primary SCITT course soon and wanted some very <u>practical </u>advice from those who are currently ON the course or have experienced it about how to organize your schedule with two children. I have two children aged 4 and 12 and need advice about how to organize my life to make sure things still get done. I am aware of all the planning etc and read the advice about getting a cleaner, online shopping, and lowering standards regarding housework (!) etc but I wondered how people in a similar situation managed with all their "To-Do's" and how they organized their schedules on a DAILY basis to make sure their families dont feel COMPLETELY neglected during the year. Do trainees use teacher planners or schedules? Do you use day to page diaries or a custom made planner to include all you need on their eg reminders and apps and school commitments....? Any advice about the practical side of organizing your days/weeks/terms would be much appreciated as I feel my current system of how I organize my time and days will not be sufficient to meet the SCITT demands :) the biggest worry I have is that "lying awake at 3 am worrying about FILL IN THE BLANK" because I have worked hard over the past few years to not be like that and I would not want my stres levels to be even higher due to a system which was inadequate for aorganizing all my needs.. So people..planners, diaries, notebooks, schedules....what's your advice?! :)
  2. Doesnt really relate specifically to that course but have post its or a notepad by your bed at night... So many times I woke at 3 in the morning remembering something and then couldnt get back to sleep as I was so concerned about forgetting it... Having a notepad there really helped as I wrote it down then could fall back to sleep.
    I bought a teacher planner but didnt use it - I found that due to the planning formats etc that schools use there was never a need for it. I do swear by my diary though and wouldnt be seen without it. I find a week per double page is all I need although I dont have children so a page a day may be better for you!
    As for job applications I had a page at the back of my diary, I wrote the name of the school, ticked once when I had asked for a pack, twice when I had applied, three times when I had heard back.
    Hope at least some of this is helpful!
  3. thanks ever so much starsanddreams I thought my post might get ignored for being too trivial so even if you are the only one who does reply there was some good advice there so thaks ever so much :)
  4. Thanks for posting your question pinkpaperprincess, I have an 8 and 11 year old so it's all about juggling isn't it!? I can imagine a year of "I promise we'll do more stuff together when the course is finished..." I've been reading different advice and as such have just procured a slow cooker! I will now get a BIG diary/wall planner and a box of post-it notes [​IMG]
  5. I have the same feelings. A 10yr old who will be looking at secondary schools in september and possibly be doing the grammar school test, a 16yr old starting at a new college to do A levels and a hubby doing his final Masters year and his dissatation. What a mad household this is going to be!!
    I love homebaking but have decided that will be one thing to drop each week and buy shop cakes etc. I am also going to invest in a chest freezer and batch make meals so DH can just put them in the oven (as he will admit, he does not cook!).
    I like the idea of a notepad next to the bed, if just to remember things needed for my children next day.
    Also, getting to bed at a good time, even if it means missing the end of a film. It'll be on again. And getting up each day before my children so I can have some breathing space, even at the weekends - I'm going to forget about lie-ins (which I've just been getting back, now my children are older)
    Before term starts I will go through the house like a tasmanian devil and get the whole place clean and tidy.
    Good luck to you all.
  6. My husband has been shocked when I get up at 4 am, but as after a certain point in the evening I just get too low whilst planning, so I tend to always go to bed at a good time, but get up early if I need to. Holiday activities for kids will probably also be something you should look into (my daughter is lucky as her stables will have have any day, all day to muck out horses). The school holidays are a good time to get on with essays and ahead with planning, (and if you are as disorganized as me, catch up with paperwork).
  7. Oooh no, surely that's a vicious circle: the earlier you get up, the earlier you fall asleep the next night etc.. If I got up at 4am I'd be rushing home from school at 4pm exhausted!
  8. Hey,

    I dont have children and I am doing a PGCE, so slightly different, but I have a few tips. I created a spread sheet of all the different university tasks and standards that had to be done by each week and things that the uni required me to do at school etc. I printed it off and have at the front of my folder so can just tick it off each week. In fact my uni mentor picked up on it and emailed it to the whole PGCE cohort to use! lol- hmm perhaps I am too organised. hehe!
    I am a massive fan of lists and made one pretty much every day/week as to what I had to do so at the end or start of the day I knew what I needed to do and what I needed from various people. I stayed at school as late as I could (around 6pm-the cleaners chucked me out!) to get things done as I knew things wouldn't really get done at home. Make sure you have an evening off during the week and one day at the weekend at least.
    I find that I do the minimum amount possible to get through the course and am still able to have a life- see friends- go out etc and am a successful student teacher (well I like to think so- and my mentor seemed to think so! lol) I have really enjoyed my year so far and has been pretty stress free- the only stressful thing has been the stupid assignments!
    Some people set themselves a timetable of what things they would do each night after school. So on a monday do planning for the week. Tuesday, mark all the books. Wednesday- weekly meeting with mentor etc etc. Plan your PPA time wisely!
    I have a diary that is a week to two pages (A5) and I find that is all I need. Its a filofax one so I have plastic pockets in it where I put bits and pieces that I need to file- sort out- follow up etc.
    However, schools all do things differently so they may require you to do things and organise things in a certain way etc.
    Good luck!
  9. That sounds great, any chance I could look at it for ideas? Cheeky is my middle name [​IMG]
  10. I too am cheeky and would love to look at it too! sounds like a bril idea!
  11. Yup. No problems. Happy to help. :) Send me a message with your email address and I'll send it over!
    P.S- I got my big filofax diary from whsmith online for £16- a bargain for a leather diary that will last for ages! It was in the sale- so keep your eyes peeled. They do sales on filofax stuff every so often!
  12. lou_lou84

    lou_lou84 New commenter

    I would love a copy of that if thats ok? I am not very orgainsed and I think I really need to get myself sorted for September!

    Thanks Lou
  13. Englishrose2010
    Instead of sending your file to everyone who asks, you can upload it to the Resources area of TES (click top menu) and refer your enquirers to it, or else you'll be kept very busy!
  14. Good idea Alec.

    The spreadsheet should be found here https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6040592&requestAction=add# If the link does not work let me know and I will try again.
    It is called student teacher spreadsheet.
    Hope it helps
  15. People only need to click on your username, which gives them the link to your spreadsheet resources!
  16. OMG that like totally worked! Thanks pinkpaperprincess and Alec [​IMG]

  17. Hi All
    I'm so pleased I found this thread. I'm starting my Primary PGCE in September and I have a 12 month and a 4 year old (who starts Primary school in Sept). My head is so full of things that I need to do before starting the course, but some of the tips on hear are fab. My main thing is sorting out my childcare, as I need this to be sorted and with back up plans in the event of one of my children being ill (not that they are sickly children but I like to be organised and don't want to miss any days at uni if at all possible!!)
    Englishrose, the download is fab so thanks for that.
    One thing I am planning on doing is leaving my current job 3 weeks before starting the course. I feel that I need to have some valuable family time before I neglect them for the next year!! So its off to the sunshine for us for some quality time and a well earned rest.
    Good luck everyone

  18. Hello

    If you are starting your PGCE in September, you could begin following Include Solutions Ltd on Facebook and Twitter. We are developing an interactive hub for ITT students (www.includesolutions.co.uk) which will shape behaviour management, learning and teaching strategies and introduce the importance of the wider school community. We are posting a few ideas which will help to prepare prospective ITT students for their year ahead. we look forward to having you with us as we enter this new journey!! Kind regards
  19. HI and a big thanks to everyone who has posted so far on this and I'm really pleased that people have got involved in this thread and more importantly others who were maybe too shy to ask have benefitted from my question. But please can people keep the ideas coming no matter how small - its sometimes the smallest ideas that have the biggest impact so if you have any positive tips tricks or ideas please continue to post :) thanks guys x I know its all varies on home and personal circumstances but even the strangest tips can be tweaked, modified and re-shaped to help someone else!

    So far we have got ideas like <u>get a cleaner</u>, <u>buy a slowcooker</u>, <u>batch freezing</u>, <u>dedicate time to each subject everyday</u>, <u>keep ontop of planning</u> others have said <u>get a headstart with books</u>, <u>take a holiday prior to course</u> and <u>enjoy some peace before the storm... get a filofax to act as one stop shop for organizing all your to-dos and calendered commitments, do a home-sweep and get your house in order immaculate so that when you are too busy to clean and you havent got a cleaner it wont be so bad (!), and many more.....</u>

    Like I said people please share your advice because we are all here to help each other and no matter what your tip is it could mean the difference between make or break when the course starts :) What would you have liked to have been told prior to starting your course if you did it many years ago? What would you go back in time and tell your trainnee self?
    Thanks guys :)
  20. subowie

    subowie New commenter

    hi there,
    i am now 2 thirds of the way through my secondary maths pgce and i have 4 children and a grandson!! It is possible to do it but you must warn the kids that you may not have as much time for them as you used to have.
    my top tips for surviving the year
    • buy a calender for your wall that has seperate columns in it for each person. mine is a forever friends one bought from Clintons. that way i know what everyone that i have to help is doing and its on the kitchen wall where i can see it!!
    • definatly get a diary or filofax - mine is two pages to one week and i would be lost without it!
    • plan all your lessons at least a week in advance. although you may need to change the odd one as you go it means should something happen at home like an ill child or in my case helping with uni applications and coursework for my daughter you have some breathing space as things are not done the night before.
    • prioritise your work - i write a list every sunday night and tick them off as i have done them. it not only gets you organised it makes you feel better as the list gets shorter.
    • on a personal level have at least one night and one day of the weekend off. i tend to get home from school and have a couple of hours and dinner with the family before heading to the study to work. it gives me a break and i feel like i am spending some quality time with them all especially the younger ones.
    • keep in your head that its only 10 months long!!! and that noone ever died from having an unitdy house!!
    good luck with your course

    leah-johnxx likes this.

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