Carving Out Time

It has certainly been a quiet month for blogging on my part! But I have a good excuse. I started a new full time job on October 3, teaching kindergarten at a long day care centre. Needless to say it is very different to working in a school setting and there is very little non-contact time. So my days have become much longer as I try to get things done before my shift starts in the morning and then get away as speedily as possible when my shift ends (and enough children have gone home!!) so that Ic an come home and do my “other” job.
Add to that the fact that because I am a primary teacher working in childcare I have to do a Diploma in Children’s Services from TAFE and I will be very busy indeed. So my blog topic of “what works for me” is more relevant than ever.

I don’t have all the answers yet but after almost 4 weeks, things are sliding into place and I’m starting to see how I can develop some new routines. I’m seriously tired at night so I’m really working on making bedtime earlier so that I can get up earlier and get the day underway.
When I can get to work 45-60 mins before my shift begins I can drink coffee, prepare resources and set up activities for the day ahead. That has worked pretty well except that it meant I was always leaving at the end of my shift with the desk in a mess and my poor group leader was always tidying up after me at the end of the day. I am on the playground until the minute my shift ends and than I have to leave because nearly everyday I have to collect the boys from somewhere. Today I didn’t have the get the boys, a rarity because both dh’s parents are in hospital at the moment and he has been doing a lot of visiting, so I decided to stay on for an hour after my shift and get things organised.
I have document trays ordered and we have decided what we will use them for. We write observations constantly and these have to be written up formally, new learning experiences planned from them and then evaluated. so one are will be for that.
Another tray is going to be the “today tray” where we stash things we are using on the day and a third will be for things that need to be filed or go on display around the room. So this evening I have found the desk, put lots of things into plastic sleeves and piles and I feel “cleansed”. I’m actually looking forward to walking into the room tomorrow. I am very much resolved to keep it that way because I am sharing the space with my very patient group leader and quite simply we have no time during the day to be looking for things.
I’m also getting my head around the times that I work. It is currently and will continue to be 8:15am – 4:45pm with an hour for lunch. I’m learning to use my lunch hour for good! I have knitted during lunch, sometimes I have a break for half an hour and then work outside the room for half an hour. I need to get organised to make some calls and make some appointments during the day which means having phone numbers on hand etc.
I had already decided that Friday was going to be a “buying lunch” day because I can go to Subway which is a very short walk from our centre. That left four days to organize lunch for. Then today I had to go to the local shopping centre to run some quick errands and I had lunch at Sumo Salad in the food court. The kind folk at Sumo Salad are only too happy to take a phone order in the morning and have it ready for me to pick up so I’ve decided that Wednesday is lunchtime errand day and that I will have lunch at the shopping centre (in air-conditioning). Staying late today also worked well so I am also declaring Wednesday my “late” day so that I have another stretch of time in which to sort myself out and deal with the paperwork and programming.
I’m exhausted, the house is a shambles but I do finally feel as if I am doing less “tail-chasing”.
Speaking of which, poor Vera really needs walks but I haven’t managed it since the first week. Next thing on the list.

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