Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Routines to help your day run smoother

Have you ever noticed how quickly three day weekends go by? I always feel like I need a weekend to recuperate from my three day weekend.  I was thinking about all of this as I got ready for work this morning.  I was totally on autopilot, just going through the motions without really thinking about them and appreciating the fact that I had picked out an outfit and packed my lunch the night before.

These evening routines were making my morning so much easier, which in turn made the rest of my day much less stressful! The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have end of the day routines for the classroom too.  Some of these were specifically designed to help the next day go smoothly, and some of them are a little less conscious, but just as effective.

First I scan the room and put away anything that isn't in the correct place.  I'm just the kind of person that works better when my space is neat and tidy, so putting everything away helps me focus.  Of course, there are always those random bits and pieces that don't seem to belong anywhere.  You know, the counting bear that was under the shelf because you put the rest of them away 3 weeks ago, or that one foam block that you're pretty sure walked over from the infant room all on it's own.  I don't run all over the place trying to put these things away every night, but I do have a basket in the closet for all of this stuff.  I throw it all in there until I do have some extra time to put it away.

Another thing that I do at the end of the day is to return all of the supplies that I borrowed for the day's activities. This gets them out of my space while making sure that the next person who is looking for them is able to find them easily - I can't stand when I go to the art cupboard and the one color of paint that I really need isn't there!

Once I've put all of that day's supplies away I can get out what I need for the next day.  This is the one task that I never put off. Every single time that I've said "I'll do that in the morning" there was some kind of crisis that needed to be dealt with in the morning and I never had a chance to get all of the materials around that I needed, which left me scrambling all day long.

Yes, all of these things take a little bit of time at the end of the day - when the last thing you want to do is spend any more time in the classroom - but that extra 15 minutes relieves so much stress that it is entirely worth.  It's also a really nice time to reflect quietly on my day.

We spend so much time planning and implementing routines for the benefit of our students, make sure you're taking time to plan routines that help you too!

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