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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Together Teacher

The first quarter of the year has been wrapped up. By now, you have noticed what is and is not working in the classroom for you. The question is how to make changes that will assist you throughout the remaining portion of the year.

I have read A TON of books on classroom organization. As a new teacher (and one who some claim is OCD. I am still in denial.) I need all the tips and tools I can get. When I was asked to review another book on organization, I was hesitant. What could it actually teach me?

I saw the review on Good Morning America and it dealt with a lot of tips on how parents can get their kids organized for school. Soooo... I thought I would review it based upon how it can help me as a parent.

 

The Together Teacher is so much more that what I was expecting! Maia has spent a lot of time doing her research and it shows throughout the book. I was surprised by how many different organizational theories and "gurus" she quoted. She pulls the best of each of their theories into one, simple, easy to use program.

One of my favorite parts is the Comprehensive Calendar. I have always color coordinated my schedule but I have to admit... I have A LOT of calendars. I have one for grad school, one for hubby, one for the kids, the puppy has her own, another for teaching, and another for personal things. Nothing every stays together!


The comprehensive calendar puts everything together and teaches you how to maximize your energy levels AND your time. I love the idea of blocking time for specific tasks. I have been known to lose entire days as I spend all of that time working on a particular project.

The picture above shows my schedule. I added in what the colors mean to kinda help you see what is going on. The purple is me time.... things I do on my own like blogging, design work, creating products, grad school homework, and bubble baths! =)

The blue colors are family time. Different shades of blue represent different things we are doing. Green is my alone time with hubby and orange is my student teaching time. The boys are pink if they have something specific that needs to be done for them.

Anyways.... the colors tell me what I should be scheduling to do during that time. I just put in all of my meetings, etc... on top of the colored section and it all fits in. This was just a quick sample of my schedule so it is missing things like house cleaning and exercise which is also on my to-do list.

This is just one way of many to create a comprehensive calendar. I love how Maia gives step-by-step directions for a paper method, an electronic method, or a hybrid method.

The rest of the book is also wonderful. It gives tips on how to keep track of notes (notability is still my favorite and Maia would approve I am sure!), creating routines, managing email (where does it all come from??!), and how to set up your classroom to contain the chaos.

It also has great ideas for parents and homeschoolers. LOVE the chapter on "the backpack explosion." If only Maia had a way to keep my boys from using their backpacks as collectors for bugs and crumbs. Oh... and a way to guarantee their room does not smell like a locker room but I will digress on those.

The reflection questions throughout the book helps keep the reader focused and engaged. With these questions it is like having Maia there.... talking you through it. Asking you to look around a little harder and guiding you to the method that works best for you.

The book includes a CD with more examples and templates.

The Together Teacher would be great to helping resolve those issues that have been plaguing you throughout the last quarter and now is your chance to win your own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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11 Comments:

At October 21, 2012 at 5:01 AM , Blogger Bev said...

I really struggle with not letting the paper overtake everything!! I am constantly trying to get my desk and bag under control with all of the paper!

 
At October 21, 2012 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Cindy Swindell said...

Cool book!

 
At October 21, 2012 at 3:31 PM , Blogger Ms. O said...

Oh my goodness. Timely topic. Being a "together teacher" seems like an inattainable goal at times. Just this week had a volunteer ask what he could do to help clean off my desk because the mess bothered him. And the amount of time I've spent in the last week looking for lost items? :/ :/ :/

 
At October 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM , Blogger Amber Key said...

This is my one fear as a student teacher...that I will not be able to organize my classroom. I welcome all the resources I can find to help with my organization skills.

 
At October 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM , Blogger Ellen said...

Looks like this would be a very helpful book.

 
At October 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM , Blogger Debbie said...

sounds like the perfect solution to manage everything!

deb

debinderry@gmail.com

 
At October 22, 2012 at 5:14 PM , Blogger hcarp said...

I have trouble figuring out a good way to store all the station games. hcarpenter@ebrschools.org

 
At October 22, 2012 at 7:16 PM , Blogger Samantha Leutert said...

I would love to have this wonderful book. I am also a very OCD or organized person and I think this would be a wonderful tool to have when I get my own classroom. I am doing my student teaching now and have seen many different types of organizational tools, but none have really worked for me.

 
At October 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM , Blogger susan said...

My biggest problem is the up keep it takes to be and remain organized!

 
At October 23, 2012 at 7:36 AM , Blogger teaching3rd said...

I am the worst organizer in the world! I love reading your posts because it has helped me feel like a better teacher. Thanks!~

 
At October 23, 2012 at 3:00 PM , Blogger thepolkadotowl said...

I struggle with paper, paper, paper! All kinds of paper...extra worksheets, papers I need to fill out, paper that are turned in, papers I need to give out...ugh...just thinking about it makes me anxious!

 

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