I’ve been thinking about the little things I do that affect my attitude and feelings about teaching and life in general. As I was writing this post, I realized that most of the things are about doing work at times when I know I’ll have more energy and be less rushed.
Backing my car into my driveway at night– I started doing this a couple of months ago during the winter on nights where snow was forecast because it would make the car easier to get out in the morning. It takes an extra 30 seconds in the afternoon/evening, but I’m amazed at how much better it makes me feel to be able to pull straight out of the driveway in the mornings. After a couple times, I started making it my habit to back in the car at night.
Having students copy all the homework at the beginning of the week– This has its pluses and minuses, but overall I’ve found it to be a good thing in terms of class time. If students already have their planners out copying their homework down at the beginning of class on Monday it only takes an extra 2-3 minutes for them to copy down the rest of the week’s work. This also forces me to plan enough ahead that I’m prepared to give the week’s homework on Monday. 😉 I do occasionally have to make changes, but that happens far less often than I told myself it would when was justifying to myself giving one day at a time. I leave the homework on the board for the entire week, so that we can refer to it briefly at the end of class every day.
Cleaning off my desk every night– I did some rearranging in my room this year, and one of the first things I see now when I walk into my classroom is my desk. In the past, it had basically been a repository of stuff. This year I’m trying to clean it off at the end of every afternoon. That doesn’t mean the side table or my podium is always clean when I leave, but the desk itself is. In the morning, walking in and seeing the clean expanse of my desk makes facing the day a little easier.
What small changes have you made to affect the quality of your life and teaching?