One of the things TKS is known for is Schedulin Sunday! It’s a staple around here and it’s a big part of my work-life balance. As a real-life, full-time classroom teacher, I get the struggle. The struggle is real and it’s nearly impossible sometimes to find that balance. We get so many questions about finding balance and reducing stress so today I’ll share a little about how Schedulin Sunday helps me do that.
What Is Schedulin Sunday?
Schedulin Sunday is two things: it’s a blog post and it’s an actual event. Schedulin Sunday is when I do all of my prep for the week. And it’s a blog post where we share all of our ideas, activities, resources, and materials for the week ahead. We also share our weekly lesson plans for free!
Schedulin Sunday: How It Works
My team plans collaboratively each week. We plan for ELA on Wednesday and Math on Thursday. When we plan we follow our district scope and sequence and plan for the required materials for the district. On Saturday night, I sit down and write my class specific lesson plans incorporating our team planning and the materials and activities I want to include. We have district required texts/curriculum but we have the freedom to supplement to best meet the needs of our students. My lesson plans reflect a combination of district requirements and supplemental materials that best meet the needs of my specific students. And yes, that changes every year!!
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Also on Saturday night, I write the Schedulin Sunday blog post so it can post early Sunday morning so ya’ll have access to it for inspiration and ideas!
On Sunday, when AR goes down for her nap, I head to our office and get to work. I spend about 3-4 hours prepping ALL of the materials for the week. 3-4 hours on a Sunday afternoon and I’m completely prepped for the week. I make all of our graphic organizers, schema maps, and get our small group activities ready.
How do I it in 3-4 hours? Our TKS resources are easy to prep which helps make planning and prep super easy. We even have them broken down by month, so that you can easily resources that you should find applicable month by month (or at least pretty close). Simply click on categories and choose the month you need. Having easy to prep and find resources really helps a lot. I also dedicate that time so we try to limit interruptions so I can get stuff done. Having a dedicated space with all the necessary materials helps too. ANd yes, I keep chart paper at home! (We purchase our chart paper from Classroom Direct! They have the best price we can find!)
One question we get asked a lot is why we don’t laminate our stuff and re-use it. The answer is simple and twofold: making the graphic organizers with the students is more authentic. I simply create the outline but we create them together. And we don’t do the same things every year. Every class is different, requirements change, themes change so we might not use the same materials. (Plus I don’t have to store more stuff!)
Schedulin Sunday: Work Life Balance
Work-life balance and self-care are big buzz words in education. There are even conferences to tell us how to do self-care and find a work-life balance. But ya’ll, let me tell you: work-life balance is HARD. For all of us. School expectations and needs, family needs, personal needs, our social life…it’s all just so much. And it’s so hard to find a balance. And how each of us finds that balance is 100% ok because it’s going to be different for each of us. And no, I don’t have a perfect balance (and don’t believe anyone who says they do lol). But Schedulin Sunday has helped a great deal. Here’s how:
By investing those 3-4 hours on Sunday, I free up all of my planning periods to deal with stuff at school. I can do last minute prep or make copies or complete paperwork. If we have an unexpected meeting, I don’t stress it because everything is prepped. I don’t have to get to school super early (unless I have something to get done) and I don’t stay late. I leave immediately after dismissal. And my nights are free for family time and relaxing or working on TKS. So those 3-4 hours on Sunday free up my week and helps me find some balance and gives me time with my family.