Exhausted? Burning out?
I hear you, chickadee. This is a tough time, regardless of your school model.
I used to be first to arrive and the last to leave at so many jobs, not just teaching.
And in those early years I’d wonder how those people who breezed in at 8 and left on time did it. Were they slackers? Did they simply care less than I did?
Hardly. Most were smarter, more efficient, and better at their jobs.
Which isn’t to say that your working late means you suck at your job. Anything but. But you could be home sooner with a simple mindset change.
Buy Your Time Back
This will sound self-serving, but it’s the secret to getting your life back. And it changed everything for me. Pay someone to take work off your plate.
Yep. You heard that right, pumpkin. Pay someone. There are thousands of teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers who have already done the work for you. Shelling out a few bucks may be the difference between leaving at 4 and leaving at 6.
Now I hear you. I don’t get paid enough to do that! That used to my mantra. Fresh out of my master’s program, there was no way I was going to pay anybody anything.
But boy I wish I had. ‘Cause I lost years to my job, working entire weekends and staying embarrassingly late on weekdays. Did it make me a better teacher? Nope. I was wiped and on edge. Not a good combo.
The day it changed for me? When I realized we pay people to do our dry cleaning. To clean houses. To deliver take-out. And why do we do it? To save time. And energy.
Still feel weird about paying for work-related stuff? I get it. But for me, when it comes to quality of life, a few dollars a week for some teaching resources is well worth trading Starbucks for home brew.
Time for a date!
Time to play, boo! You’re about to go on a hot teacher date. With yourself! (‘Cause have you seen yourself? You’re smokin‘!)
Grab your calendar. Then pick a date where you can set aside 2 hours with no interruptions. Plonk your own kids in front of a movie. Beg your bestie to watch your baby. This will be worth it. Pinky promise.
Brunch date? Brew your favorite beans and get some special occasion pastries. Evening date? Make that fancy cocktail. (Use the tiny umbrella. You know you want to.) Splurge on fancy hors d’oeuvres from that market you love.
In these two hours, you’re going to treat yourself to finding two or three teacher sellers who’ve got that same breezy style you’re famous for.
‘Cause there’s some fan-freaking-tastic creators out there you’re gonna fall in love with! (Besides yours truly, of course!) They’ll not only save you time, but they’ll infuse some fun back into your job!
Also, there are crap lessons. Fluffy stuff with no substance. Which is why you need that luxurious time to find your teacher soulmates. This isn’t a speed date.
Getting excited? You should be! Let’s face-forward to your date.
Finding your new teacher besties
So how do you know if something’s good or not? How do you avoid wasting your stacks o’cash?
A slamming resource should have a preview. Think of it this way: at your teacher supply store, you can thumb through workbooks first to see what you’ll get, right? A preview provides you with that same certainty: This is for me! Or Nope!
Click on any of the Harry Potter products below. Note that there are both pdf and video previews. You see exactly what you’ll get. (And fun little fact? The music on those videos is by my kick-ass rock’n’roll husband. He’s all mine, ladies and gents.)
If something matches your teaching style, you can click Purchase with confidence. If it’s a no-go? You’ve saved some dough.
Now just because something doesn’t have a preview doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful product. And a beautiful preview doesn’t guarantee a smashing resource. BUT. Previews let you see what you’re getting.
Reviews are a mixed bag. When a buyer leaves a review, they earn credits towards future Teachers Pay Teachers purchases. Which is terrific!
The downside is that sometimes people leave a one-word review: “thanks.” And that doesn’t help you the buyer at all. Was it good? Terrible? There are 5 stars on the product, but did they mean it?
Here’s what to look for: uber-specific feedback.
How did it help them? How’d they end up using it?
Products that SAVE time
With reviews, be on the lookout for comments about how you’ll save time.
I’ve downloaded resources on Teachers Pay Teachers that involved a lot of up-front assembly. And most were worth it in the long run. But if you’re starting out, head straight for resources that are SIMPLE and will get you home pronto.
Tune in to words like easy, fast, time-saver, life-saver, etc.
In these reviews of my Multiplication Practice Bundle, for example, you’ll see clues that this product will save you time.
Or click on these reviews below for the United States Remote Learning tests. Comments like these let you know that you’re looking at a product that you will mean less time planning and correcting.
Q & A’s
By now, you’ve hit on a few resources you’re excited about! Maybe you’ve found two buyers with unbelievable math resources. You can follow them both! (After all, most of us go to more than one clothing store.)
But if you’re trying to narrow it down? Then click on the Q & A section next to the Ratings and Reviews tab. Many people don’t notice this unless they have a question to ask the seller. But it’s WELL WORTH a look now.
The Q and A part is where you can ask the seller questions either before or after you buy. What you want to look for are the buyer responses to those questions.
Do they answer the questions quickly? Or did it take a few weeks? (Or did they answer at all?) Are they helpful? Friendly?
Their responses on the Q&A’s will tell you a lot. And will give a preview of what to expect if you reach out to them. Pick those sellers you can count on. There are so many great ones to choose from!
NOTE: Often, if it’s a technical issue, sellers will give you a pointer or two and then send you to the TPT help link. The tech folks at TPT are godsends who will get you in shipshape. (I’ve met many of them in person and they’re some of the loveliest people on the planet.)
Like what you see? Follow that Seller
When you find a seller you love, give them a follow. (Click the star next to their store name.) Once you do, their new products will appear on your TPT homepage. And you’ll get updates on sales and freebies.
A great seller who matches your teaching style? Worth it, love. Totally worth it.
Now It’s Your Turn!
Tell us in the comments below:
- Tell us about your hot teacher date — the one you’ve planned or the one you took!
- OR … What resources would you love your Fairy Godmother to send you?
Know a teacher who works too late? Want to send them time-saving tips? Then share this article with them on social media using the links up top.
Want more good stuff?
Click here and get “8 Ways to Create Lifelong Readers.” Want your kids to love reading? In 8 easy steps, you’ll have a well-loved book haven in your classroom.
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and click on the green “Follow” star under the store name. You’ll get monthly messages and first dibs on ways to save time in your classroom.
Follow me on social media for daily ideas to get you out the door on time.