Interview with Teacher C

I interviewed Teacher C because as busy as I am, she makes me look lazy. She is a high energy lady who is the team leader for 550 AP English IV students at a high school outside of Dallas, Texas. Over the past few years, Teacher C has increased her consulting with College Board and the National Math and Science Foundation. Because of her obligations to these organizations, she travels frequently to train teachers and teach students around the US. Question: How do you plan for your absences?

Because I have input on the students’ calendar, I'm able to plan days during the week when I'm gone to include enrichment, extending, testing, and refinement days. Generally on these days, my students don't need me as much, so they are able to do independent work with a substitute. Also, if necessary, I flip the days in the calendar so that I'm there for instruction and the students are able to work independently with a sub.

Question:  How do you keep up with your grading?

Because I have attended AP reading for 10 years, I can quickly assess a student’s writing. That said, I do set aside time (in about 3 hour blocks) to work on my grading each week. I set deadlines for myself and try to return assignments within one week of the deadline.

Question:  How do you prepare for substitutes?

My substitute doesn’t need to do anything because my students know the expectations that I've set at the beginning of the year.  Because my students typically have good time management skills, they are able to use the time while I'm not in the classroom to work on the assignments given.

Question:  What are your top three time management tips for teachers?

  1. Always work from a list. Each day I have a list of the items I need to get done prior to leaving school.  I stay until the list is done.
  2. Never leave unproductive time in the day. Because I'm working from a list, I'm always propelled forward to getting the list done.
  3. Don't have a lot of down time.  I try not to check my personal email or take care of other personal obligations during the day. Of course, I have a social life, but I set those obligations outside of work hours.