June 24, 2016

How to Get Organized and Keep the Joy in Teaching

Most new teachers begin their careers with passion and enthusiasm, excited to be able to work with children and to make a difference in their lives.

Unfortunately, that passion for teaching is too often buried under a crushing load of paperwork and job responsibilities they could never have imagined!

Enthusiasm is quickly replaced by a feeling of being overwhelmed, with way too much to do and never enough time to do it all. Piles of papers stack up everywhere, with no time to file anything away properly, and the number of messages in your inbox seems to grow exponentially!

What do you do? Spend 60 or 70 hours a week on schoolwork, only to realize you didn't make a dent in your total workload? Or should you do just enough to get by so that you can have a life outside of school?

No matter how much you love teaching, working 70 hours a week is a fast track to teacher burnout. But doing the bare minimum isn't the answer either. While it does give you a little more time at home, you start each school day feeling disorganized and overwhelmed. Over time, you'll start to feel guilty about neglecting your students and you'll feel increasingly ineffective as a teacher.

The Key to Unlocking Work Life Balance
Thankfully, there's a better way. The solution is to implement specific strategies to help you get more done in less time and achieve a healthy work/life balance. Sounds like an impossible dream, but I've discovered that it IS possible to find work/balance, and you won't have to sacrifice your effectiveness as a teacher. The key is knowing where to find these strategies and how to implement them effectively for the best results.

If you're a member of Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, you're probably nodding your head along with me because you know exactly what I mean! I've known Angela for many years, and I admire her tremendously. She is the creator of the Cornerstone for Teachers website and the author of many motivational books for teachers. Angela is one of the most organized, productive people I know, and I'm constantly amazed at how she accomplishes so much in such a short time. When I found out that she had created a course to help teachers learn effective strategies for achieving work life balance, I knew it would be awesome!

I signed up at the end of December, and within a week, I was blown away by the club content and resources! Just to be clear, this course is not about trying to cut your workweek down to 40 hours. You have to admit that it's a catchy title, but not many teachers can be effective when only working 40 hours. However, if you're working way more than 40 hours, you'd be thrilled to shave even 10 hours off your week, and this goal is entirely doable.

Small Daily Changes Lead to BIG Results!
As I'm sure you are aware, change isn't always easy and it doesn't happen magically. However, Angela has done everything in her power to make the process as painless as possible, and you'll reap some big rewards almost immediately. She understands the challenges teachers face when trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance, and she knows that the best way to tackle any challenge is to make small changes day by day.

With that in mind, Angela organized the entire year's worth of content into 12 monthly topics. She then divided each monthly topic into 4 weekly chunks that she sends by email every Saturday morning. All of the audio recordings and documents are also stored in your 40 HTW Club account online so you can access them at any time. You can read or listen to the lesson over the weekend and implement the strategies throughout the week.

Wait. What??? You can LISTEN to the course content? Yes, that right... Angela not only creates a PDF of each week's content, she records an audio version you can listen to while driving or relaxing! Every time I listen to one of Angela's weekly lessons, I'm so astounded at the wealth of helpful information that I want to reach right through my phone and hug her! (I know that sounds silly, but it's true!)

Angela's Tips and Tricks for Overcoming Digital Clutter  (Free Productivity Lesson)
May's topic was Technology Timesavers, and I loved Week 2, Overcoming Digital Clutter. I used to think of clutter as being piles of paper and junk, but after listening to about 30 seconds of Angela's recording, I realized that I have a serious problem with digital clutter, too. What I didn't expect was to learn so many specific, actionable strategies for dealing with this mess!

I decided to listen to Overcoming Digital Clutter while working out at my gym, and I remember stopping to look for paper to take notes! Luckily, I remembered that Angela also creates a PDF of the lesson so I didn't need to write down a thing. As soon as I got home, I started using her strategies to tackle my Inbox mess. What a relief to get that under control!

I later asked Angela if I could share the lesson with my followers. I was hesitant to ask because this is part of the paid content from her course. However, I thought that if teachers could listen to one of the weekly lessons, they would have a better idea of what the course is all about. I was thrilled when Angela agreed!

If you'd like to download Angela's lesson, Overcoming Digital Clutter, click on the title or image to open the form, fill it out, and I'll send the links to you right away.

The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is only open twice a year, and the current open enrollment period will end on January 9th, 2018. 

Make a Personal Commitment to Achieve Work/Life Balance  
Angela offers several payment options, but the one-time payment for the full year is definitely the best value. As I said earlier, change isn't always easy, but you CAN turn things around and achieve work/life balance if you make up your mind to do so. Making that commitment starts from the moment you enroll. If you sign up for the monthly plan with the idea that you'll "give it a try" and cancel if it doesn't work out, you're doomed to fail. However, if you're able to pay for the full year in advance, not only will you save money, you'll be making a personal commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve work/life balance.

Don't forget to sign up for Angela's free productivity lesson for teachers, Overcoming Digital Clutter to get a sample of the kind of content she sends out each week. By learning to work smarter and not harder, you'll be able to keep the joy in teaching and experience more joy in every aspect of your life!

Disclaimer: I'm an affiliate of Angela's 40 HTW Club which means I earn a commission each time someone purchases the course after clicking on my affiliate link. However, I would never put this much effort into recommending a course unless I was convinced it was absolutely amazing! I can assure you that if you're willing to do the work, your results will be amazing, even life-changing!


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