Truth for Teachers with Angela Watson

by Lisa Woodruff

Dec 14, 2018 | Episode 259 | 55:12

During the month of December, I’ve been bringing some really amazing guests onto the podcast.

First Julie Morgenstern, a professional organizer in her own right, who spoke about organizing your time and tasks so that there’s enough margin for the good stuff.

Then we heard from Holly Knill, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland, who broke down the neuroscience behind The Sunday Basket.

Today, I’m wrapping up this series by chatting with Angela Watson of The Cornerstone for Teachers and Truth for Teachers Podcast.

One of my listeners connected us (thank you Jana!), and Angela and I laughed several times in this episode about how similar our lives and careers have been.

Angela started her blog around the same time I did, because she was continually asked the same questions about her teaching style, procedures, and how she managed to stay sane amongst the demanding climate of the classroom. She wanted to be a resource for other professional educators, filling quite a void at the time.

Since teachers have to flex their classroom to meet the needs of their setting and their students, Angela didn’t want to offer one-size-fits-all strategies. Instead, she wanted to help teachers think about how they were using their resources and their time, with the ultimate goal of reducing their stress and increasing their effectiveness.

This consulting turned into The 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club, an online course with a social component that teaches strategies for priority management, with over 20,000 educators served.

The 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club “conquers overwhelm right away so that you’ll have the energy and mental bandwidth to follow through on systems to get organized, streamline routines, give kids ownership of the classroom, and be truly intentional about how you use your instructional, contractual, and personal time.”

Her message is that you can still be a great teacher without depleting every minute of your time and every modicum of your sanity.

That so closely aligns with my message, that taking back your home and organizing your life will enable you to do what you are uniquely created to do.

Suffice to say, it was a great conversation.

Making Decisions

The common refrain that Angela heard from teachers was that they were totally overwhelmed by the fact that they were working all the time. They were barely scraping by as a good teacher, while neglecting every aspect of their home life. They felt like failures in both worlds, and were tired of it.

Angela sought to help teachers look at the demands that were being placed on them, and analyze which ones could be let go.

She had them look at how many hours they were working, and sought to streamline those tasks to save time. They made a plan, together.

You can get a lot done in 15 minutes, if you have a list of tasks already planned. | Truth for Teachers with Angela Watson | The Cornerstone for Teachers | Organize 365

Not only did this process reduce the amount of time that teachers were spending working each week, it reduced their stress levels as well.

With lower stress levels, Angela’s teachers were reporting better morale and more effectiveness in the classroom.

Using this systematic approach, Angela continues to help teachers analyze their time and make decisions about where to spend it.

Reserving Time for Family

Once the teachers Angela works with reduce their working hours, they have access to between three and ten extra hours a week of “free” time.

They’re left with the same burning question that I hear women struggling with all the time: What do I do with this extra time?

It’s a question that inspires fear in a lot of people, and often holds them back from that productivity.

We are comfortable living a life of obligation, because we don’t have to responsible for the outcome that way. It’s a valid fear, but it holds us back from a rich and fulfilling life.

And here’s the thing: You have one life. Just one! Don’t want for the time to be right, or this responsibility to go away, or this difficult thing to get easier. Start today.

Where to Find Angela

If you’re a teacher, and you’ve been nodding along with this episode, you’ll want to check out The 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club. There are two cohorts a year, and the next one is beginning in January.

Early access is currently open, and you can get early bird pricing if you jump in now!

I’ll be interviewed on Angela’s Truth for Teachers podcast in January, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it. Angela’s podcast is full of practical tips and thoughtful discussions on best practices, time management, and issues affecting education.

I’ll be chatting about the Teacher Friday Workbox and the Homeschool Friday Workbox, tools from Organize 365 that can also help teachers simplify their tasks and priorities. Find out more about the workboxes here!

In the meantime, join us on Boxing Day (December 26th) for the Out with the Old Decluttering Challenge. There’s no better time of year to declutter than after the holidays, when it seems we all get an avalanche of new stuff in our homes. I’ve got brand new planning pages and daily Facebook Live Q&As to help you start 2019 with less clutter!

If you have a podcaster, blogger, or other professional you think I should meet, email me and let me know, like Jana did!

If you tried any of my suggestions, I’d love to see them! Follow me on Instagram and join the Facebook group for more great organizing tips, then share your photos with me by tagging me @organize365 or using #organize365!

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Sunday Basket to do list solution