Scheduling Conflicts / by Krista Boivie

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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?