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Special Education Teachers: Here's How to Get It All Done

Image of keyboard and to do list with text Sped Teachers Here's How I Tackle My To Do List
As a resource room teacher, I have SO many things that I need to get done. There are days where behaviors are crazy. Some days, I sit in meetings all afternoon and get next to nothing done.

However, I do have a few routines that I implement that I feel really help me "Get It All Done"...if that's even possible!

Quiet Tasks vs Busy Tasks

In special education, many of us share a room with other adults. For me, I share my room with another special education teacher and three assistants. My prep is also during the lunch breaks of several of our assistants and others in our hallway. There are always people around once the school day begins. This makes it difficult to "get it all done".

I like to think of tasks as either quiet tasks or busy tasks. My busy tasks are things I can get done with other people in the room. My quiet tasks, on the other hand, are the tasks when I need peace and quiet. I usually come to school early and have the room to myself. I like to use this time to do things that require full focus and concentration. I struggle to read and understand when there are other people in the room. It's also hard for me to type reports when there are conversations that I want to be a part of. I know, I'm nosey!

I try to get one quiet task done every day. Maybe that's writing a report or reading several of the weekly reading stories. Either way, it is something I can accomplish while the room is silent. 

Pick a Day to Stay Late

I like go to to school early, so I can get one quiet task completed for the day. I also have one day each week where I stay after school. I stay after school until everything (within reason) is accomplished. Usually, these tasks are the same from week to week.

On Fridays, I do not leave until all of my reading and spelling tests are graded. I lay out all of my homework for the upcoming week and make sure that my intervention booklets are in my folders for the next week.

My family knows that this is my routine. They know I'm going to stay late. Every other day, I try to leave school right when contract time ends or soon after. For me, that feels like balance! 

Image of shelf with multiple papers organized in folders

Batch Tasks

Batching tasks is my biggest time saving tip! Whenever possible, I don't make just ONE week of copies. I make 6-10 weeks worth of copies. If I'm going to assess one student, I try to assess several. Here's what I mean:

Readings Tests

I like to sit down and do all of my accommodations for a whole unit of reading tests. When I'm done with a unit, I add them to a binder that I keep for each grade level. 

After I get done with each grade level, I take the binders to the copier and and make whole units worth of test copies. This allows me to be ready for the next six weeks of reading tests! I store them in order in the magazine files shown in the picture above.

Image of reading series batch printed

Interventions

I use several interventions in my small groups. I love these because I can copy a booklet and it gets us through the entire week. When I copy these, I usually do 5-10 weeks at a time. It takes a while to make each of these copies, but then they are DONE! 

Homework

Homework is something that many grade level teachers like me to give my students. I have a product from TpT that allows me type all my spelling words to generate homework right away. I can print homework for weeks at a time in minutes.

Classroom Observations

In my school, I handle the paperwork for our evaluations. Part of that includes completing classroom observations. I like to pick an odd day, like right before break, to do my observations. My goal is to try to get as many done in one day as humanly possible. Then, I work to type those reports the following week. 

Assess Students on Present Levels of Performance

With evaluations, I also have to assess each the students prior to holding their meeting. My goal during my prep for one week is to get all those assessments done. Depending on how many students there are this could be quick and easy. Other times, this is quite a large list. 


IEP Writing

After assessing students, I add writing IEPs to my to do list. I use the assessments to write their IEPs. After a good assessment, this part is easy! 

Lesson Plans

I use a template for my lesson plans. I usually print 6-10 weeks of the template and begin planning. I have a bucket for each group. I add any materials that I'll need to the bucket, and I'm done! 

Grace

SPED Teachers, give yourself some GRACE!

No one really gets it all done. No matter how hard we try, we'll still find ourselves with a crazy day or a week that just gets away from us. But when things get crazy, you'll know that you have the basics covered! If you can get a good system into place everything else will work itself out.

Image of reading intervention worksheets with text Free Download from The Primary Gal
I think this reading intervention could really help save you time and get it all done! Would you like to try a free week? You can download them by clicking here or the image above

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