Without fail, it happens.
Just as I am sitting down at my desk in the morning to start on the never ending to do list, an EMERGENCY email pops up or a fellow teacher pokes her head in the door.
Suddenly, the bell is ringing and I still haven’t made copies or use the bathroom! Help!
It doesn’t have to be this way. Just a few easy tweaks can change up your morning routine!
Before You Leave the Building
A great tomorrow starts today, literally. So before you pack up your bags and drag yourself out of your classroom, take a few minutes to optimize your morning.
- Set up any morning work. If you teach K-5/6, chances are you use morning work to jump start your students’ day. Perfect! Make the copies before you leave and lay them out on the kids’ desks. It’s one less thing to do tomorrow.
- Create your morning whiteboard and morning message.
- Set up the homework for the next day, too. For the younger kids, you can place the work right into your homework distribution zone. I use mailboxes/cubbies. For older kids, separate the homework into class folders, ready to distribute tomorrow.
- Arrange any and all materials that you might need tomorrow right now. Worksheets, materials, or other items that you plan on using before your first prep period should be placed, in order, in a designated spot. I keep a low book shelf next to my desk to set up my materials, and file everything for each day/subject hanging folders.
- Create a To Do list for the morning. Note any vitally important things you need to do (make copies, set up homework, etc.) that are not possible to do right now.
Rise and Shine
By the time you arrive at your desk, you will hopefully sipped (translation: gulped) down any AM beverage that helps you adult.
If you have set up your day last night, your work load before the kids arrive should be minimal.
Once I arrive at my desk, I follow a few simple steps to make my morning go smoothly. Or as easily as possible when several dozen young people are concerned.
- Check the To Do list first thing. Need to make copies? Round up the materials and get in the line. Setting up an experiment first thing? Assemble everything and lay it out as much as possible.
- Check that all of your materials are prepared until at least your first prep period. I like to preplan by unit and keep everything in labelled file folders that are ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.
- Now open your emails and prioritize. Emails from parents are first; these might contain updates about student illnesses or requests for conferencing. Next, open anything from your Administrative Team or grade/subject area leaders. Last, open everything else. Go through and flag or star emails that are important and note down everything that needs a response.
- Use the restroom!
- Make a To Do list for the rest of your day. Include: copies to make, projects to tackle, calls/emails to send, and meetings.
Need help keeping it organized? Try my helpful morning checklist! MilKids Teacher AM checklist
How do you stay on top of your morning routine?