Click below to hear why you’re behind schedule and how to prevent it:
No matter what subject or grade you teach or how long you’ve been teaching, you have been behind schedule at least at one point in your career. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it is stressful! Especially if you have an end-of-year test that you’re preparing for. But instead of feeling overwhelmed, in today’s episode, I’m sharing ways to assess why you’re behind schedule and providing practical ways to prevent it from happening in the future.
When we start to get behind schedule, our natural reaction is to either rush students or cut instructional resources. However, I caution you to do either of those, for it can bring down student enthusiasm and change your demeanor as a teacher.
Instead, I give you four questions to ask yourself where you can begin to assess why you’re behind, which can be eye-opening to what you find important and how much instructional time you actually have. Then, after assessing, I share practical ways you can get back on track or prevent you from being behind schedule in the future.
It’s natural to get behind schedule when you have so much science content to teach, but it’s so important to learn where it’s coming from and how to fix it. So, if you’re struggling to fit all of your content in before a big test or the end of the year, this episode is for you!
- The 2 things that are first to go when you’re behind schedule and why they’re detrimental to both you and your students
- 4 questions to ask yourself when assessing why you’re behind schedule
- A list of reasons why you could be behind schedule
- Practical ways to prevent getting behind schedule in the future and what you can do now
- Free Lab Audit
- Anatomy of a Class Period
- Download your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge
- Send me a DM on Instagram: @its.not.rocket.science
- Send me an email: email@example.com
- Follow, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts
Related Episodes and Blog Posts:
- Episode 114, How to Bounce Back After You Mess Up
- Episode 96, Why I Stopped Assigning Homework (And 6 Surprising Results)
- Episode 92, 5 Ways to Have Precise Pacing and Tight Transitions in Your Secondary Science Classroom
- Episode 80, Strategizing Your Sequence: Curriculum Design Part 1
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More about Secondary Science Simplified:
Secondary Science Simplified is a podcast specifically for high school science teachers that will help you to engage your students AND simplify your life as a secondary science educator. Each week Rebecca, from It’s Not Rocket Science, and her guests will share practical and easy-to-implement strategies for decreasing your workload so that you can stop working overtime and start focusing your energy doing what you love – actually teaching!
Teaching doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to simplify your secondary science teaching life so that you can enjoy your life outside of school even more. Head to itsnotrocketscienceclassroom.com/challenge to grab your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge.
Recently, I got the following DM on Instagram. It said, Hi, I’m currently listening to your podcast. I started at episode one, and I’m on episode 47. And I’ve also been using your curriculum for biology and physical science. So I love all things isn’t rocket science, which makes me so happy to hear. And then she went on to say, I teach biology and physical science on a 90 minute scheduled daily, but I have to squeeze my entire curriculum into 15 to 16 weeks, which can be super challenging for the biology EOC. Plus, I’m the only person that teaches my subjects. And I’ve only been teaching for three years. My question is, do you have any suggestions for how I may improve or condense the curriculum into this timeframe, other than cutting Labs, which is sadly what I’ve done in the past, it’s super hard to maintain the students enthusiasm at the pace I have to push these students. They’re also in a rural area that is low performing and low income, any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated. And so when I got this DM, I immediately responded, but I also told her, this would make a great podcast episode because this problem is not unique to just this teacher, whether you use isn’t rocket science resources or not, I think we all get behind at some point, whether you’re comparing to my personal pace or another teachers or the schedule you’re on because of your state EOC. And I think our natural reaction is to rush our students and or cut instructional resources so that we can have more time to lecture through all the content we feel like we need to do direct instruction on but I feel like the problem with that is what this teacher mentioned, it can really wear down our students enthusiasm. And then I think also as the teacher, I think it can just make your days really hectic and not fun. I don’t know about you, but I hate being rushed. And it just makes my blood pressure high. And it makes it hard for me to be calm and proactive. And I become really reactive to my students. So we want to avoid that at all costs. And that’s why I’m doing this entire podcast episode about this question because I feel like it’s such a good one. And it applies to so many people. And maybe this time of year, you’re listening to this and you’re like I’ve got three months of the ESD. And I’m stressed because we should be two units ahead of where we are. This episode is for you. We’re going to talk all about what to do when you are behind schedule. So let’s dive in. This is secondary science simplified a podcast for secondary science teachers who want to engage their students and simplify their lives. I’m Rebecca joiner from it’s not rocket science. As a high school science teacher turned curriculum writer, I am passionate about helping other science teachers love their jobs, serve their students, and do it all in only 40 hours a week. Are you ready to rock the time you spend in your classroom and actually have a life outside of it? You are in the right place teacher friend. Let’s get to today’s episode.
Okay, so first thing I want to tell you loud and clear, is do not take this personally, I think if you’re behind, it’s easy to kind of use that as a metric and be like This is all my fault. And you being behind schedule is not a measure of whether or not you are a good or a bad teacher. Okay, so similar to Episode 114, two weeks ago, where I talked about how to bounce back, when you mess up, we’re going to kind of use that process here. I think you need you do need to humble yourself and acknowledge like we’re behind, and maybe I played a part in that. But now instead of living in that, let’s say let’s make it right, and let’s do what we can to prevent this happening in the future. And that’s what we’ll talk through here. So the first thing I really want to talk about now that I’ve said that is let’s assess why you are behind schedule. And so you’re going to ask yourself, three to four questions. Okay. So first thing you’re going to ask yourself is, what schedule Am I going off of? Like, if I’m saying I’m behind schedule, that means I’m comparing to something? And what is it that I’m comparing to? Okay, the first thing I want to caution you with is if you are comparing your pace to a pacing guide that you received from a textbook company, or maybe a district curriculum person, instructional coach, you know, that works for your district of 14 high schools, if you’ve never talked to and who may not have ever taught this subject you teach, I would not trust that schedule. And I’m not trying to you know, say that all curriculum specialists or instructional coaches or district personnel are like this. I just think the nature of the of the beast. And, you know, depending on the size of your district, you have these giant districts, and you might only have one instructional science coach, or point person for the entire district, elementary, middle high school, all these different subjects like that person, there’s no chance they taught all the things and so you cannot trust their pace because unless they have the action research To back up, and this pace is actually sustainable by a real person teaching real teenage humans, then you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to that. Okay? So give yourself a lot of grace, if that’s what you’re comparing yourself to. Okay. The other thing I’ll say is, I would only trust the pace of someone who has actually taught the class you’ve taught with the resources you are using. Okay? That’s the other thing. You can’t compare to the teacher down the hall who teaches biology, if they’re using entirely different instructional resources, of course, you’re going to cover evolution at a different pace from them, if you’re not using the exact same things. So I just want you to give yourselves lots of grace here, if you’re assessing yourself, and you’re feeling so behind behind who, behind what, okay. And the other reason why I want you to give yourself a lot of grace, is that anyone’s pacing guide, anyone schedule, even mine, even if you’re using It’s not rocket science biology curriculum that I have used for years, and my students and NASA pays that work for my students, I still want you to give yourself Grace compared to me, because here’s the deal. There are so many different student populations, I have taught at three different schools, and each one was a totally different student body, okay, culturally, just the whole thing, the whole thing, everything about the schools was so different. So if that’s just one person, my experience being so different, think about how different yours is probably from mine. And then even within the same school year after year, you have such different combinations of students, I will never forget, I had this one biology class. At the most recent school I was in I taught for section of biology one year, and just one of the classes 75% of the students in that class had some sort of IEP or 504. And so that class just had an entirely different pace, compared to the other three sections of that same class. And so I want to encourage you to give yourself some grace there to give your students some grace. Okay, another thing that can be really different if you’re comparing your pacing to my pacing, using the same resources, is school cultures. And like the interruptions from the school, y’all, I was flabbergasted when I went from teaching at a public school to a private school, just how much the school culture changed in terms of the interruptions, I swear, every other week, there was a pep rally or spirit week, or, you know, a special award ceremony or chapel or Grandparents Day. I mean, it was like, unhinged how many interruptions there were. And again, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just I need to do except that I could not work at the pace that I was working at at the public school because the amount of interruptions that are and maybe your squats, even more interruptions than mine, okay. And then the other thing I want you to consider is just different things you may have going on for you personally, maybe you’re not moving at the pace that you normally do, or the pace you’d like to move at. But that’s because you have a lot weighing on you personally, this year, I say over and over again, you can only do the best that you can do with your current capacity in your current season. And that’s constantly changing. So give yourself Grace there too, you might be having a lot more going on in your personal life right now that’s preventing you from kind of coming in with a lot of energy and really moving the class along. Okay, so a lot of this is out of your control, you can’t control your student population or your school culture or anything like that, that I do know that like you do bring a certain intensity to the classroom, and you kind of do set the pace as a teacher. And again, based on where you are personally, you may not be able to move at the pace that you normally do. So let’s give ourselves a lot of grace there as we’re assessing how behind we are and I’m going to use a lot of quotations when I talk about being behind because again, I just want you to give yourself so much grace, you cannot see me doing quotation marks, but I’m doing air quotes a lot. Okay. So the other thing I want you to think through too is how much time you actually have available to you to teach. Okay, so for example, one school I taught in was 50 minute class periods, and you had 180 school days now, it didn’t really end up being 180 because of how many interruptions there were in spirit week, special days and all that. But if you take 50 minutes times, 180 days, that’s 9000 minutes. Okay. at another school I’ve taught in I was on a 90 minute block schedule. I’ve been on 90 minute ab so you have 90 minute classes every other day all year. And I’ve been on a 90 minute semester block where you have 90 minute classes for 90 days, which is half the year and then you switch in January. Okay, regardless of its a B or semester block those two experiences, I technically had 90 instructional days for 90 minutes. 90 times 90 is 8100 minutes. Okay, so again, when I was on that 50 minute traditional schedule, I had 9000 instructional minutes. When I was on block schedule. I had 8100 instructional minutes I lost 900 instructional minutes, I lost 10% of my teaching time. Okay. So of course, I felt behind, I had lost 10% of the time that maybe I was accustomed to. So I want you to give yourself a lot of grace there. The other thing I’ll say, with this specific example, I referenced at the top of this episode, that teacher who deemed me she had 90 minute classes five days a week for 15 to 16 weeks. So if you do that math, that 6750 instructional minutes she had, that’s 25% less than the unit plans that I include in the biology curriculum, I include enough for the full school year that I had, okay, 180 days, and I even have extra extension units, you can add in if you have a year long school or something, she was at a 25% time cut. So if she follows my pacing perfectly, she still should only get through 75% in the curriculum. And so that was one of the things I really want to encourage her with. And I want to encourage you with, of course, you’re behind if you have 25% of the time of everyone else in your district, or everyone else in your state taking the EOC. Okay, so let’s just acknowledge that maybe you don’t have the power to change that. Maybe it’s something that is severe enough that you’re like, you need to bring this up with your admin, like if they’re expecting you to get these certain EOC scores for your biology class, but you have 25% less time than most people in your state. Like, you need to talk to them about that and be like, we got to do something about that. Because I can’t possibly get these scores up if I have less time than everyone else who’s taking this test. Okay. So really just think through that. And then another question I want you to kind of reflect on before we get into the practical, what do we do about this? Is? Does it actually matter? That you’re behind? Does it actually matter? Okay, now, before you get your panties in a wad, which maybe I shouldn’t have used that expression, but surely that’s a class like we all understand it. I think, obviously, if you have an EOC, or state exam, you know, some sort of state standardized test, even if ESC AP whatever, yes, of course, it does matter like that is something that matters, that’s part of your job, it’s a part of your student’s success in the course, like I 100%, get that, I would say if this is a chronic problem for you, like not just maybe this year, but you kind of always have a problem with the pace of it and getting things in before the EEOC, I would look at the percentages on your exam of each category like is 25% in the test evolution 10% Cell Biology, you know, whatever, look at that. And then I would potentially reassess your sequence for future years to hopefully help deal with this problem and manage it in the future. Because you kind of always know that you move at a slower pace, but then it always ends up being this problem. And so I have a podcast episode, Episode 80. That’s all about strategizing your sequence. And I think that would really help you and I’ll link that in the show notes. But I would really consider that. So for example, when I was at that semester, block school, and I had 10% Less instructional minutes than anyone else in my state that was on a traditional schedule. I was like, Okay, this is a problem. And so I was looking at my sequence. And first of all, ecology was a big part of the test. But ecology is also arguably the easiest content unit in a traditional biology class. So I moved ecology from the beginning of the year, because like, you could literally spend a whole semester on ecology if you want there. It’s so fun. There’s so many instructional resources. But I also knew like my kids got it. So instead of spending this first six weeks, just having a blast and ecology, I moved ecology to the end of the year. And then it was a great buffer. Like, if we stayed on pace, we got to spend six weeks doing ecology six to eight weeks during college, it was so fun. But if we were on a time crunch, I can honestly cover all the ecology content, and five to seven school days, like I can knock it out. It’s sad, I hate cutting all the labs, I hate cutting all the activities, but you can do it. And so I found that was a really easy unit to kind of scrunch up if I needed to. And the other thing I saw when I assess my sequence was that evolution was a really big part of the test. At the time that I was teaching it, it was probably 30% of the test. And so I actually moved evolution to be my sixth unit, it was my second to last unit, I wanted it to actually be close to the exam, so that they could really, really remember it because it made up such a big part of the test, I want it to be some of the most fresh content in their ears. And then after that we squished in ecology with whatever time we had left, and we took the test. And then he called you it’s kind of a fun one, too, that you could expand upon after the test and still do and follow up with some of those labs and things. So again, I’m not saying you have to teach ecology last or totally do that. But I would really, really consider maybe for the future. If this is the third, fourth, fifth year, you’ve taught something and you’re always behind and it’s always stressing you out and it matters that you’re behind. Because you have a standardized test. You might need to rethink your sequence and strategy. ties better for the future. But obviously, if you’re listening right now, and you’re like this airs in February, and the end is in May, and I’m so stressed out, you just need to do whatever it takes at this point to get there. Okay, I’m going to share some specific ideas in a minute. But I also don’t want to just put a band aid on a bullet hole here. And I want you to really think about how to prevent this in the future, which is why I suggest assessing your sequence, okay. Now, if you do not have any sort of standardized tests, that’s giving you a time limit at the end of the year, I want you to truly think, does it matter? If I get through all these standards? Does it really matter? Okay, because personally, I’m queen depth over with always, okay, depth over breadth. Always, always, always, I’d much rather, have the conversations, do the research projects, do the labs the way they’re supposed to be done? And not get through as much if I don’t have to? Now, you may be thinking, but what about the courses that come after me, I’m a pre what records that course like, screwing up the teacher after me because I’m not getting through all the stuff that I should have gotten through. And that is a very considerate mindset. And I think you’re super kind of worried about the teacher after you. And here’s what I would say, go talk to the teacher who comes after you in, you know, in your core sequences and say, What is the most important thing that you want to make sure I hit home, like, I’m not going to get through all this, I’m just being realistic, what’s what’s most important, okay. So for example, like I said, I moved to that private school. And we had like, the first year, my mind was literally blown by the amount of school culture and eruptions, like I like, could not believe how many spirit days we had. And then the other thing was being at such a small school, all the kids played like three sports and did the school play. So it was like, every other day someone was having a checkout early for a tournament, or, you know, whatever. I mean, it was like, the disruptions were on hinged, how many disruptions there were. And so what I did after that first year, is I was teaching physical and science and biology at first, that was all I was teaching. And so I went up to the chemistry teacher, and I said, what is most important that these physical science students know from you, because technically, they were going physical science to biology to chemistry. So it was going to be two years, but I knew I was gonna have time in biology either to teach them, you know, chemistry stuff. So I said, What are they need to know about chemistry, I knew the physics stuff, a really small percentage of my students taking physical science would later take physics as a senior. It’s an elective course where I taught. So I really cared most about chemistry. And I said, what matters. And he said, dimensional analysis, not that they have it perfect or have it memorized and remember it retain it for two years. But he’s like that they seen it before. And him and I stacked hands on teaching it the same way. We’re both picket fencers. So we teach a picket fence strategy, if that if you teach chemistry, hopefully, that rings a bell to you. And I think teaching it the same way was really helpful for students, because they when they saw with him again, it was extremely familiar. And then also, he really wanted me to teach naming rules and balancing chemical equations. Okay, so if you have my physical science curriculum, you may see that I do go into some of those things that is not really specific or necessitated. In like middle school, the middle school NGSS, physical science standards, you know, those are covering much bigger, broader topics more conceptual, not as quantitative. But hey, I talked to this chemistry teacher, and he was like, it is so helpful if they’ve seen this before, because it’s so hard for them, if they’re only seeing it for the first time with me. And if, again, you know, if you teach chemistry, if they can’t balance an equation, then they are not set up for success when it gets to stoichiometry. Same with naming rules, if they can’t, you know, write the chemical formulas, right? And do the nomenclature, right, then they can’t balance the equation, right? They can’t do the story. It’s like it all builds on itself. And so I said, I’d rather do less stuff, and cover what he says is most important than stress. And I’m not getting through all of the standards. Exactly right. And then similar to biology, when I was at that private school, before I taught AP Biology, I went to the AP biology teacher, and I was like, hey, what, what what matters most here, because when I was at the private school, we weren’t doing the ESC anymore. So I kind of had more flexibility there. I didn’t have the EOC weighing over me. But I did want to make sure the honors students especially were ready for AP biology. And he told me, he was like evolution, those honors students to they needed to be learning how to do equations with genetic equilibrium, they need to be practicing with the P’s and the Q’s and all of that. And that was something I was not teaching previously because it was not on my state EOC but I made sure to make time for it in honors biology, so that when they got to AP, it was not brand new. And then that served me well because then you know, unexpectedly high took over teaching AP, so I was so glad they had that foundation. So really go and talk to those other teachers and see what matters most. And then maybe let go I’m not getting through all the standards, because I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as we think. And I don’t think your principal, really most likely unless they have a science background understands how in detail and how in depth you’re going on all the things. Okay. Now, fourth little question I would ask yourself and this is going to be specific to those of you listening who do use my It’s not rocket science resources and curricula is, I really want you to see, where’s it taking me longer than it would take Rebecca on the pacing plan, okay. So if I say this unit should take 15 days, y’all know that my unit plans are for a 50 minute class period, I have the block ones too. But I’m just talking about like the basic ones that are included, and look and see where you’re taking longer than me. And so I think the best way to do this, is take the editable versions of the unit plans that are in the implementation folder, and go into the Word doc version, and delete the text that’s in that assessments column. I think that’s like the most pointless column. But I know a lot of teachers ask for it. That’s why I started doing that when I first started writing curriculum, delete that and make that column instead of an assessments column, make it a Notes column, and leave those little squares blank, and maybe even make the column larger, then print it out, have it when you start the unit. And then at the end of each day, you go in and manually right like next to what I say you should get through right where you actually got through. Okay, so put that next to it there. And then you can hopefully start seeing patterns like, it takes you twice as long as you notice as it takes me or it takes your stations or three, I always give you one day for stations, you really need three, okay, based on your students and how they move or whatever. But I think identifying that is really, really critical. Now, once we’re there, that was the longest intro ever. Let’s talk about practically what do we do? We’re behind now what how do we make up last time? First thing you need to do is you need to tighten up your transitions and your pacing of your class in general. Okay, I’m extremely passionate about this, I have an entire podcast episode on this episode 92, I’m going to link it in the show notes. I’m not going to share all of the points from that, because this is already getting kind of long. But I cannot tell you how much time is wasted in a class period. I only am aware of this, because of my time spent as a mentor teacher, where I was responsible for, you know, watching some of my peers teach and then providing feedback. Like just I don’t think people realize how much time is wasted. Unless you’re being extremely strategic about using every single second. And really having precise pacing. I and I know this doesn’t work for everyone’s personality, which is why I don’t want to push this unless you have to, I’m just speaking to the people that are behind in half to catch up here. Okay, so I really want you to push it a little bit harder. And really audit your pacing and your transitions. Listen to that episode 92. And see if you can reclaim time. I know it may not seem like much like maybe you’re only going to reclaim that five or 10 minutes a class period. But if you’re seeing students five days a week, you just reclaim 25 to 50 instructional minutes. That’s a lot of time. That’s an entire instructional resource. Okay, so that’s what I want you to do. First and foremost, may especially if you’re seeing like, I don’t know what’s happening, it’s not like we’re just going longer notes like every day we’re always behind, then let’s tighten up those transitions in your pacing. First, let’s be really, really clear about our routines and our procedures for our students. So we’re running this class like a tight ship, okay. Like we’re getting in, we’re working. I’ve always said people ask all the time, how do you deal with the interruptions of students going to the bathroom. And I’ve always said, it’s not really been a problem for me, because my students know, there’s like, literally no lag time in my class, there’s not a second for them to realize they have to go to the bathroom, because I’m using it so tightly. And again, I know it’s not everyone’s personality to do so. And I don’t want you to feel like you have to but if you’re listening to this episode, it’s probably because you’re behind. So this is for the people who are behind. Okay. And then lastly, we’re gonna have to make some modifications to your instructional resources. My first thing I want to implore you with here is don’t cut labs, I think that’s the first to always go is the labs and I don’t want you to do it. Okay, your students need the labs. But here’s what I want to encourage you with. Let’s do less, but better. Okay, maybe you’re not going to do every lab you want to do or every lab you’ve always plan on doing or hope to do. But let’s if we’re going to do them, let’s do them better. And I have a resource that’s really helpful for this. It’s a free lab audit. If you go to It’s not rocket science. classroom.com/labs I wrote this, maybe it was last year last spring. I can’t remember. But I’m so proud of this. I think it’s really, really helpful. I’m going to walk through with you how to audit all the labs you do and really decide what is actually worth your time doing. I think it’s better to do one lab for the three class periods. It needs to do it justice. Then do three labs for one class period that you’re rushing through. is to get to the labs for the sake of labs. Okay? I’m really passionate about this. So let’s audit those labs. Now, a specific note for it’s not rocket science resource users, I would always cut out stations, before you cut out labs, like if you’re going to cut something from an It’s not rocket science unit that you’ve purchased. For the sake of time, don’t do this stations, those are often included there as like reinforcement, extra extension, cut those before you dare think about cutting any of the labs. Okay, the labs are also intentionally included. And so purposefully. Now my one caveat to that is if you are using anatomy or chemistry units, and it’s specifically called a discovery station, the discovery stations were written to replace lecture and to decrease the amount of lecture. So discovery stations have content that is not covered in the lecture notes anywhere. So you need to do those discovery stations so that they can get that content, but you could send these homeless students if you have to, I hate it. But you could do it if you have to. Okay, so that’s my first thing. Don’t cut labs. But if you are going to have to cut a lab, let’s be really strategic about which we’re cutting and the ones we are doing, let’s make sure we’re doing them really, really, really well. That that was a strategy that served me really well teaching AP Biology, even when I went to AP Summer Institute, and we went through you know, every one of the big labs that you’re supposed to do, she was like, I would do one per quarter perfectly like as best you possibly can. And then just use alternatives for the rest, if you’re short on time is short on resources. So that’s what I did. I picked four and I did four insanely well. Now I know a lot of you are cringing, the Vita lab science only for labs. And we did other labs, I’m just saying we only did for like true long inquiry investigations, how they’re meant to be done for AP Bio. Okay, so let’s consider those labs cut those stations if we need to. Second thing I would say is use filled in or fill in the blank notes. If you use it’s not rocket science resources, all my units have these they come with them. So you don’t need to make these they’re already there for you. Personally, I like the blank Cornell note outlines the most because there is scientific evidence that writing does help with memory. But that’s such an easy way to reclaim time. Like especially with those filled in ones, your students can still be highlighting and adding extra notes and doing examples and things like that, but you’re saving so much time they’re in the notes. Additionally, you can always do a flipped classroom. Personally, all my lecture notes are on my YouTube channel. It’s not rocket science classroom. Anyone can use those lecture notes for free even if you don’t use my resources, you can make your own if you’re not a it’s not rocket science resource user, and have your students watch this at home. I think copying notes can take a lot of time. I mean, I hate I hate the concept of flipped classroom because I hate assigning homework. But you know Desperate times call for desperate measures. So you need to cut down on your note time definitely switch to filled in or flip fill in the blank. The third thing I’ll say is any practice that you’re doing in class, you may have to make homework and again, I hate this. It’s like painful for me to say this because I don’t really believe in assigning homework. But I personally because of that I build in time to all my It’s not rocket science units and my lesson plans for the practice to be done in class. And if you’re trying to play catch up, you can cut that practice and make it homework and then just go over it in class quickly. Another thing I’ll say is cut out the review days, I always build in one before every test. But that’s such a superfluous thing that isn’t, you know, fully necessary, I would say especially if you’re on a 90 minute block class period. My personal tests are always written for a 50 minute class period. So if you’re using my tests, you could do a 20 to 30 minute review on test day, and then dive into the test for the other 60 minutes of class, you know, but I just think review days are a luxury. And if you’re getting behind, like you don’t have time to be spending a 15 minute class period reviewing its, again, none of these are best case scenario, but we’re in, we’re in triage here if we’re behind and you got an EOC. So we got to play catch up, okay. And then the last thing I’ll say with that, too, is like cut the in class projects. I hate it because I love projects, and I hate homework, but I would cut them, you can assign them outside of class, you can cut them entirely if it’s too much of a burden on your students. But I just think if you are on this time crunch, something’s got to give. Now again, if you’re like I don’t want to cut any of this stuff, circle back to one of those first questions, does it actually matter that you’re behind. And if it doesn’t, then focus on what you want to focus on, go through what you want to go through with great depth, do all the research projects, all the labs, and you’ll have to you know, kind of accept that you’re just not going to get through it all and that’s okay. Okay, so you kind of have to choose if you’re behind and you know, you got to make your tough choices there. Alright, so again, please just don’t take this as a metric and equate it to you failing as a teacher if you feel behind. There are so many there. roubles that are influencing while you may be behind it isn’t, it’s definitely not entirely your fault and may only be partially and then maybe not at all. So don’t take it personally, then assess why you are behind it if it actually matters that you are. And then lastly, for the immediate needs that you have, let’s tighten up on those transitions. Don’t forget to go back and listen to episode 92 for help with that, and let’s modify the instructional resources that you’re using for the rest of this year based on the suggestions I gave in this episode. And then lastly, let’s really assess for the future. If there’s a way you can rearrange your sequence to help, you know remedy this in the future. And that’s where episode 80 is going to really be your friend if you go back and listen to that, okay, all of these episodes and extra things are linked in my show notes at it’s not rocket science classroom.com/episode 116. That’s episode 116. And I’ve also linked there too, I have this little free one page or called the anatomy of a class period. And there’s a 50 minute version and a 90 minute version. But it just kind of gives you an idea for how I chunk up my class period and how I use those 50 minutes or use those 90 minutes. It’s a really simple PDF, but a lot of people have said it’s an incredibly helpful visual for them. So maybe looking at that to you will help you make sure that you’re using your class time wisely. All right, and if you haven’t yet, I would love it if you would leave a review it means so much to hear from you guys. And so leave a review today if you’ve ever been behind schedule, and this episode gave you some practical ideas for catching up.
Alright, teacher friends that wraps up today’s episode. If you’re looking for an easy way to start simplifying your life as a secondary science teacher, head to It’s not rocket science classroom.com/challenge to grab your classroom reset challenge. And guess what? It’s totally free. Thanks so much for tuning in and I’ll see you here next week. Until then, I’ll be rooting for you teacher friend.