People often ask me if the reason I became a teacher was to have two months off in the summer. I will admit that it was one of the factors in my decision. I have been fortunate that some of my summers I have had tons of "free" time (last year was great for this reason), but typically I spend a considerable amount of time redesigning my classes and lessons.
This summer I initially created a schedule which would allow me to get my massive to-do list tackled. It is an ambitious list that I am excited to tackle; however, I was recently invited to work with my district to redesign curriculum in July. This new task has radically changed how I am going to approach my free time next month.
In determining what gets to stay and what has to be put on hold I have come up with a three step process to make my decision:
- Time. How long will the project take? My projects this summer range from 10 hours to 100 hours. I need to be realistic with how much I can actually accomplish while still working on this new curriculum.
- Long Term Impact. How essential is the activity or project? It is easy to get distracted by busy work and focus on tasks that have very little impact. I can save low value projects and tasks for the fall when I will have down time.
- Assistance. Some of my projects require the assitance of another person. The month of July I will be visiting family and will have lots of people who can assist me with my work. I won't have the same help this fall when I return home.
What is the process you use to prioritize your projects?