40 Hour Teacher Week- July Reflection

So I mentioned in my about me section that this blog is a place for (public) personal reflection in implementing the million ideas I see and want to try every day of my teacher life. I’ve been writing blogs in my head for years trying to process and reflect, so why not do it really?!

One HUGE piece that’s made me incredibly reflective is Angela Watson’s 40 hour teacher week club. As you can read more HERE about why I started this club, it was basically to regroup and make sure I was doing the best possible job I could be doing as a teacher. Most teachers know that you spend SO MUCH TIME of what’s supposed to be your personal life doing things like planning, grading, emailing parents and more.

My conference time in school was not nearly enough to get it all done. But THIS CLUB. It’s seriously life coaching for teachers. It’s corny but I actually remember listening to the first podcast last summer relaxing in my tub commiserating on how I wouldn’t be doing that once school started. That first podcast was about what the club entailed, and the big 5 ideas about productivity. Y’all. I had a come-to-Jesus moment when I realized I was doing none of them…. THIS is why I was still so tired, burned out, etc after years of teaching. My craft was getting better but my time management never did! Here’s what you will learn in the course of a year in the club:

(pics courtesy of Angela Watson)

For July, here’s what I learned personally last year:

better classroom flow: does my system work for ME or does it work for THE KIDS?
better procedure planning– of course you do this the first few years and teach it every year, but I had a WHOLE SLEW of other creative professionals to run things by on the facebook group
better delegation– I am learning as I get older I’m a bit of a control freak. I HAD to let my students do some things to free up my time
all in all- how to plan so that my KIDS had ownership of the classroom– I wanted to be that teacher who did not have kids waiting on ME to start the class, run the class, or end the class- they knew what to do at every juncture- WHAT A LIFE SAVER!

For THIS year in the “graduate” club I’ve already learned how to BATCH my time instead of multi-tasking, make a schedule for every hour of my day to set boundaries around my time, and give myself a little grace. Why is it that we need permission to do that?!

Tell me:

– What have you learned to make your life easier as a teacher?
– What one procedure would you say is the most important for new teachers to teach? 

Comment below or tweet @mrslacysmith #firstyeareveryyear #40htw @Angela_watson


Book review- Empower by A.J. Juliani and John Spencer

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 1.50.30 PMSo this is the first book I chose to read after my “I’m going to be a leader no matter what” revelation (read more about that here). I’m so glad it was!

With lots of enthusiasm, positivity, and awesome graphics, this book is an easy read but still powerful enough to gear you up to change the world! It’s great for first year teachers, veteran teachers, teachers in a slump, administrators, and even people in the education business.

Here are a few of my book snaps!

The book includes personal stories from the authors as learners and teachers, a layout of their “Launch” design thinking plans, and lots of encouragement.

“That’s great”, you think. “But how does it really look”? Well one author A. J. Juliani thought about that and created a blog post HERE with sample lessons from all grades. The other author, John Spencer also has a blog about empowerment and the book HERE, he  has a blog more dedicated to the “maker spaces” as well as a you tube channel here.

You can follow either of them on twitter as well @ajjuliani or @spencerideas

Tell me:

         -Have you read the book? What did you think? How will you empower your kiddos or teachers this year?

         -What other empowering books have you read to kick off this school year?


Comment below or tweet @mrslacysmith #firstyeareveryyear #empowerbook