There is nothing you can do to turn back time but you can use your time wisely to gain control of it. For most people that is nearly the same thing. No special equipment or serious reorganizing is necessary to begin making changes that give you control over your time and how you use it. The only thing that you need is the willpower to make a difference.
Just say no.
It’s easier said than done to start a regimen of refusal because many of us are people pleasers. We tend to take on more than we can handle because we don’t want to “rock the boat.” It is okay to say “no” and not explain yourself. You are responsible for your own time and when there is too much taking it up it will be impossible to manage.
Use human resources wisely. Ask your assistant teacher to step in and do more. Request that your director help cover breaks. Give children tasks to assist with. Welcome parent volunteers to your classroom. These seemingly small things combine to take up a lot of your time. Having help will free up more of your time to do what is really important.
Know your objective in everything you do so that you can prioritize your time. A round of Simon Says is fun but if it cuts into snack time then you may want to reconsider. Be aware that all aspects of child development are equally important. Art and music are priorities but shouldn’t supersede letter and number practice. Can you combine them to be more efficient and well-rounded, though? Absolutely!
If children, families, colleagues, and supervisors know why you are doing what you are doing you will spend less time explaining and defending and more time immersed in your work. Make sure that they know the reasoning behind your program operation choices and have confidence in you and your abilities.
If you know that transitions are tricky for your group you should add an extra minute on to your transition times. If you know that bathroom breaks are easier with smaller groups of children you should only take 3-4 at one time. Planning ahead cuts out wasted time.
Times shown are Pacific Standard Time. If you are in Central or Eastern Time, you will need to adjust the time accordingly.
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