Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Calm Acquired

Happy for this arrival today!
In spring I start getting a little antsy. My current calendar/planner does not have enough months left in it and I like to plan at least six months in advance.  I have some specific requirements for my calendar. It must reflect the academic year from July to June, be held together only with staples and have only the month view.  I start jonesing for one in February and start searching for one that will meet those rigorous standards.  I will jump into a relationship with the first one I find since I don't care about the design.  I typically land upon it in early March, today to be exact this year. If my three criteria are met above, I'm happy.
         I like the year to reflect my work year, not the calendar year.  The fiscal school year goes from July 1 to June 30th and that's how I plan. We start planning in March for the upcoming school year which is why I need my calendar for the upcoming academic year sooner than most. I like the month view because I like the overview of the month versus each day or week.  Too many details overwhelm me. I keep those details on a post-it list for what I have to accomplish weekly and daily.  I can easily dump those once they've been accomplished or revise them quite simply.
     Finally I look for staples as fasteners for two reasons. I abhor spiral notebooks.  A spiral binding screams snag my sweater, bend or twist my rings, or tear my pages out.  My number one rule is never tear the pages out.  They are reference materials. Also if the staples come loose, you can easily restaple versus reloop the spirals back-in. Right now I'll be carrying two calendars, my 17-18 and my 18-19 until July 1, 2018.  My anxiety is calmed. I'm ready to plan.
January View from the Wall O' Calendars
     I've also taken to laying out a wall of calendars at work where I tape all the months from a traditional desk calendar across the wall so I can view the entire academic year at once. Looking long-term makes planning over time concrete for me. It helps me look at potential obstacles and allocate my time better. I also get a sense of completion at the end of each month since I eliminate it from the wall.  Talk about creating urgency! Right now there are only 3 months left on my wall and so much work still to do.
      It isn't that I am not a fan of digital calendars. In fact, I was an early adopter of google calendar in 2007 with my students and loved how my ninth grade team could have an academic view of the students  for whole weeks worth of assignments. I loved how it was color-coded by teacher and we could set reminders.  We could really engage in long-term planning, which is often a short-coming of students.
     I, however, cannot abide by a digital calendar because too often I find myself without power or a device,  but always seem to have the paper calendar at hand. And honestly, there nothing is more gratifying than the paper view at my fingertips.  My house calendar can be a normal Jan-Dec calendar, but as you can imagine, I have a protocol that I follow too.  That issue might be genetic because my daughter seems to have acquired it too.  I think you have learned far too much about me today and what settles my mind!  How do you keep your teaching sanity?

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, I sensed a kindred spirit as I read your post. Some might think "OCD," but I'm thinking, "Here's someone as organized as I try to be!" I, too, have rigid requirements for my planners and calendars. I tried going without a desk blotter size calendar hung on the side of fridge for a couple of years after I retired, and then I gave it and started buying them again. I'll bet you're like me in another respect...I was the one people would come to months later and ask, "Do you still have that memo about what we have to ...." "Sure do, let me get it out of my filing cabinet for you."


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