5 Tips for Making the Most of your Planning Time

Welcome back to part 3 of Plan Your Way to a Better School Year

If you missed the first two you can check them out here:

You might be thinking, Rachel, all this planning sounds great in theory, but how do I make it a reality?
I’m glad you asked!
5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time

5 tips for making the most of your planning time! 

Tip #1 - Write it down

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time
Writing out what you need to do will, first of all, get it out of your head and give you more space to think about other things!  Secondly, it gives you a reference place to see what you’re supposed to do next.  When you get back to your room after dropping your kids off at specials or car line, it’s easy to get distracted by emails or the pile of papers on your desk.  Having a place to look and see, ok...it’s Tuesday...it’s time to plan next week. 

Tip #2 - Avoid Social Butterflies

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time
This tip will be easier for some and harder for others.  There is a time and a place for socializing!  I personally try to save that for lunch, recess, and before staff meetings.  I sometimes will socialize for a little right after school, but it’s really easy for me to step away from conversations.  If you know you’re prone to lose track of time chatting, then you may want to avoid the after school chats.  Let your coworkers know that you’re not being rude, but you really need to get some work done.  99% of the time, they will understand because they have work they should be doing too! 

Tip #3 - Choose the time that works best for you

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time
If you read my post about my weekly planning schedule, you saw that I didn’t include a lot of things to do before school.  That’s because I’m not a morning person!  I need a slow start!  I’m much more productive in the afternoon!  If you’re better in the morning, then do some of your planning then!  Do what works best for you!!

Tip #4 - Use your summer wisely

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time
Please for the sake of your family and future students, take time to rest and rejuvenate yourself!  But I know that if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to work on school stuff.  And that’s okay!  But be wise about it!  Think about what tasks would be most beneficial to you for next year.  This next sentence may be hard for some of you...I know it is for me sometimes...but how beneficial is redecorating your classroom?  Trust me...I get it...I LOVE decorating my classroom!  And I have spent MANY summers focusing only on that.  But think about this for a moment.  Wouldn’t you rather be able to leave school each day at a decent time?  Wouldn’t you rather be able to enjoy your weekends and not have school work hanging over you?  If you do things that are going to help you achieve those goals, you much more likely to be a happier person regardless of how great your classroom looks.  So what kind of things could you do?  Create your year-long plan, find new resources or ideas and save them on Pinterest, prep new resources.  Here’s how I justify if I should spend time on it...I ask myself this question:  Will this save me time during the school year?  If I can’t say yes, then I don’t do it.

Tip #5 - Give yourself some grace

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Planning Time
Teaching isn’t easy and there will be times when you don’t get done what you wanted to.  Maybe you do end up chatting with a coworker for an hour instead of planning.  Or maybe you just had a rough day and you can’t stand the idea of planning the next week!  Girl, give yourself some grace.  Allow those moments to happen….feel all those feelings….go home without planning a thing!  Just because things don’t go the way you planned, doesn’t mean you should give up or throw it all out the window.  Just pick back up tomorrow and keep on keepin' on!

So tell me below, which tip will you work on this year?


  1. Hi Rachel,

    I've really enjoyed reading all through your blog. Great tips, hints, ideas, and suggestions! I can't seem to get to the free resource library. I've signed up twice now and nothing is showing up in my e-mail. Would love to check out the stuff you have there.

    Thanks and looking forward to seeing more great "stuff"!


    1. Audrey, I'm so sorry you're having difficulty. Send me an email at rachelatalldrinkofwater@gmail.com so we can figure out what is happening! Thanks!


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