December 25, 2016

New Year's Resolutions That Will Keep the Joy in Teaching

Are you making any New Year's Resolutions? If you're like most people, you've identified at least a few goals to accomplish this year, and I'm guessing that improving your physical fitness and health is one of them.

But achieving that goal is going to take more than determination. It will take TIME, and that's something most teachers don't have! 

That's why I'm excited to share about an amazing program called the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club! Angela Watson developed this course to help teachers achieve work/life balance, which will free up TIME to achieve ALL of the important goals in your life!

I'll tell you more about the program later in this post, but first I want you to understand why it's so important to learn strategies that will drastically reduce the amount of time you spend working.

Let's get back to that goal of improving your physical fitness and health. When it comes right down to it, taking better care of yourself means taking time to do the things that will improve your overall health such as:
  • exercising every day 
  • shopping for and preparing healthy foods
  • getting more sleep
  • relaxing and doing something for ourselves each day 
However, most teachers are up at the crack of dawn and they're in their classrooms before most people roll out of bed! And a teacher's day doesn't end at 3 pm when the kids leave because there are meetings to attend, lessons to write, papers to grade, materials to prepare for the next day... need I say more? Then it's off to run errands, cook (or buy) dinner for the family, help their own children with homework, grade more papers, plan more lessons... only to fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day! Even weekends don't necessarily mean time off, because teachers often spend time on Saturday and/or Sunday planning lessons, grading papers, and reading professional books.

No wonder teachers find it almost impossible to take of themselves! They spend 95% of their day taking care of everyone else! When you add up the hours teachers spend at school or on schoolwork, the time can easily add up to 60, 70, or 80 hours a WEEK!

Remember that New Year's Resolution to get physically fit and healthy?

It's not gonna happen unless you deal with the REAL problem which is that your life is completely out of balance! You're spending too much time on schoolwork and not enough time on YOU!

Face it. There's no way you're going to find time to take care of yourself until you get a handle on your workload and learn to achieve work/balance.  

But wait... is that even possible? I didn't use to think so. I was convinced that I had to work 70 or 80 hours a week to get the job done, and I couldn't see any other option without sacrificing the quality of my work or shortchanging my students.

But I was wrong. It IS possible for teachers to achieve work/life balance!

My eyes were opened when I enrolled in Angela Watson's course, The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. I've followed Angela's blog, The Cornerstone for Teachers, for many years, and it's obvious from reading her blog that she was an amazing 3rd grade teacher. However, what's not obvious is that she was able to accomplish everything in 40 hours a week!

Angela and I became personal friends a few years ago, and I can tell you that she's an amazingly organized and productive person about everything she does. She blogs prolifically, creates amazing teacher freebies resources, and even has a regular podcast called Truth for Teachers! So I was excited when Angela announced that was was developing an online course to share her productivity secrets and help other teachers achieve work/life balance.

Even though I'm no longer in the classroom, I enrolled in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club because I wanted to see for myself HOW someone could be an effective teacher without spending at least 50 or 60 hours on schoolwork. But by the end of the first lesson, I realized that it IS possible to work fewer hours if you learn how to use your time productively.

What I love about the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is the step-by-step manner in which Angela guides you through the course content. She sends out a lesson each Saturday morning, and it arrives in both audio and PDF form so you can read it, or listen to it, or both. Each lesson includes specific, time-saving actionable tips that you can implement right away. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to trim hours off your workweek!

What's YOUR Workweek Target Number?

Before you make changes and start to trim hours off your workweek, it's important to know how many hours you're currently working. I'd be willing to bet that it's far more than 40 hours!

Quick... make a guess right now. How many hours do you think you spend at school or on schoolwork? Just jot down the number that comes to mind without overthinking it.

Now it's time to calculate exactly how many hours you're really working. Angela has a free getting started guide that will help you do just that, and you might be surprised when you discover your actual baseline number. I'll explain how to download your copy of that guide in a few moments.

With that number in mind, you can choose your new "target" number of hours you'd like to work, and it doesn't have to be 40 hours. (Even though the course is called The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, most teachers won't actually choose to work a 40 hour week, and there's no pressure to do so.)

But if you're currently working 70 hours a week, wouldn't it be awesome to be able to get everything done in 55 or 60 hours? That change is definitely doable! 

Join the Teachers Working Smarter Facebook Group 
One of the best ways to learn more about the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is to join the closed Facebook group, Teachers Working Smarter. I created this group earlier this year to connect teachers who have questions about the course with teachers who are actually members. To join this free group, click over to this Google Doc sign up form and fill it out with your contact information. Then click the Join link in the Teachers Working Smarter Facebook group to request access. I still have to approve all requests, and I try to do that within 24 hours.

After you join the Teachers Working Smarter Facebook group, click on the Files link at the top of the page and download a copy of Angela's free guide Getting Started: The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.Then follow the directions to find your baseline number, determine your new target number, and learn tips for trimming time off your workweek.

Try a Free Sample Lesson: Overcoming Digital Clutter
Another great way to learn about the course is to give it a test drive! One of my favorite lessons is called Overcoming Digital Clutter because it helped me get a handle on my email inbox (which was totally out of control) and to recognize and deal with the other forms of digital clutter in my life. I liked the lesson so much that I asked Angela for permission to share it with my followers. Click HERE and fill out the form so I can send it to you now.

New Year's Resolutions that will Keep the Joy in Teaching 
What it comes down to is this. No matter how much you love teaching, if you don't take care of yourself, you'll end up dragging yourself to school each day just doing what you have to do to survive. Before long you'll be physically and mentally burned out, and wondering why you ever became a teacher.

But it doesn't have to be this way! Resolve to find work/life balance and take better care of yourself in the coming year. After you join the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club and start trimming hours off your workweek, the goal of improving your health and fitness will be within reach!

I should mention that Angela's course is only open to new members twice a year. The next open enrollment period is from December 30th to January 9th, and if you miss that one, you won't be able to join until July. But why wait until summer? If you take action now, you'll avoid burnout this year, keep the joy in teaching, and become a healthier version of you!

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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