Welcome to the Together Teacher. I’m glad you stopped by. I hope this website will be a place you visit when you feel overwhelmed by paper, buried in emails, and tired of staying up late to complete progress reports. As a former teacher, I completely understand how talented educators with great intentions can quickly become burnt out, frustrated, and exhausted. I distinctly remember having a list of tasks to accomplish during my one prep period, only to have that time eaten up by an emergency meeting with my grade level. My stress level increased and my heart sank because there was no way on earth I could get it all done! If you feel this way too, you are normal. I promise it can get easier. Many teachers assume that their teaching lives will always be harried and out of control. I am here to tell you that it can get easier with planning, tools, routines—and a dose of old-fashioned discipline.
Let’s establish what we already know—but perhaps the rest of the world hasn’t figured out — our jobs are different. We are on our feet all day, rarely in front of our computers, handed many emergencies, and all with very, very little “free time.” We do not have the kind of jobs where we can choose when we use the restroom or get a cup of coffee. So, all those organizational tools and methods out there for the 9 – 5 office employee simply won’t work for us.
We need something different. Just because much of our day is pre-scheduled doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t carefully use those precious prep periods, give up on detailed tracking of student behavior, or get behind in handing back student essays we meant to return. . . three weeks ago. You know what I’m talking about.
Starting to wonder if I reside on some utopian island that is not your school, or could never be possible at your school, or is simply not going to work in your situation because you are a social worker who travels between three campuses with a caseload of 1300 students? I’m going to ask you to trust me. Try a few ideas you see on our blog or read a few case studies of how together teachers plan their time. Maybe all the ideas won’t work for you, but I guarantee you’ll feel a change just putting some of our ideas in place. I have worked with public school teachers, parochial school teachers, special educators, public charter school teachers, high school teachers, pre-K teachers, and everyone in between.
I look forward to joining you on your journey to become a Together Teacher.
With much respect and admiration,