Tag: planning

How to… reduce your work in the holidays

img_1731This blog isn’t designed for telling people how to manage their workload but instead is a place to share ideas which reduce workload… however.. due to twitter I am constantly seeing people tweet about all the work they have to do other the holidays, the piles of books they have taken home, the SOW to plan etc and I believe this is not healthy, efficient or beneficial and creates a culture and pressure for teachers to use their holidays to work. This article by the guardian  talks about the need to not work during the holidays to reduce burnout. I fully agree with it.


Someone once said to me that teaching is like having multiple tabs open on your internet browser. It is a never ending to do list and epitomises the idea of spinning plates. We are never done! There is always more to do, lessons to plan, SOW to tweak, books to mark, resources to make, reading to do. I believe, the more we come to terms with this the easier it is to say NO, I won’t do that in the holidays. So here is my top tips to reduce (and ideally not work) in the holidays:

  1. Ask yourself- what happens if this task isn’t done until you return to school. If the answer is nothing- DO NOT DO IT!
  2. Remember that there is always something on the to do list, and while twitter and other colleagues may increase the pressure to come back to school with sparkling new resources and lessons, remember that you have probably survived without it before and you will again.
  3. Take a break from social media, it really can at times make you feel like you need to work.
  4. If you use your holidays to catch up with marking- again refer to point 1 or if they really have been neglected try a one page feedback sheet. 
  5. If there really are things that must be achieved for the first day back- write a very small to do list (no more than 3 things) and set one day to do it, therefore you have multiple days where you do nothing work related!

Enjoy your holidays- you deserve them!

How to use displays to reduce planning

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Having ready to go activities for those students who finish tasks quickly reduces the need to plan multiple extension tasks. I have already posted about how useful challenge cards are here and they have fundamentally made my teaching easier. Combined with this review boards are another great way to ensure your students are always kept busy and learning/ reflecting. The range of resources offer students some choice to try different plenary activities and reflect on their learning in the lesson. Some resources which feature on it I have designed myself from inspiration from the twitterspere (see below for downloads- huge thanks to all those who inspired them!), others have been taken from the fantastic resource www.thebadpedagogue.com who has some amazing resources to download for free. So if you have a noticeboard which is redundant or is not supporting teaching and learning, I highly suggest creating your own review board!

My Literacy Checklist

I wish my teacher knew that…..

Train ticket exit

Scrabble those key words

Review your learning

Twitter exit ticket