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Serving Future You – How to Work Smarter, Not Harder [Episode 138]

serve-future-you

Click below to serve future you:

I frequently think about how much the principles I’ve learned from running a business (and parenting) have changed my perspective on teaching. This got me thinking about what I would implement based on what I know now if I ever return to the classroom. And whenever I realize something useful and helpful, I want to share it with y’all! So, in today’s episode, I’m sharing five ways you can serve future you with what I’ve learned in business that would apply to the classroom.

As teachers, we all live busy lives. We’re constantly doing everything we can for our students while also having a busy personal life. So one way to work smarter and not harder is by doing things to serve future you. Each of the five ways includes performing tasks with a strategic plan, grouping similar items together, and being diligent about doing things correctly the first time. I also provide examples of how I’d use these ideas in the classroom.

One of the best things you can do to save time in the long run is to give a gift to your future self. With key ideas I’ve learned from working on my business, I wanted to share how these tactics can be applied in your classroom to be more efficient and effective. So be sure to take a listen on ways to save time with five ways to serve future you!

Topics Discussed:

  • 5 ways to serve future you in the classroom that will save you time
  • Tactics I’ve learned in business that you can apply in the classroom
  • Examples of how I’ve used each idea in my business and ways you can use them in the classroom
  • How visuals can benefit teachers with planning and preparation
  • Why grouping similar items together will save you time and energy

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes and Blog Posts:

Connect with Rebecca:

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.

Rebecca 0:00
So back in June, I did a little series of episodes, sharing things I’ve learned from parenting that transfer to teaching. And so if you missed those, you should go back and check out episodes 133 through 136, I think they’re pretty stellar, whether you’re a parent, and a teacher or just a teacher, I really think that they will transfer. So as I was recording those, though, I started thinking about things I’ve learned since starting this business of isn’t rocket science, and how some of the principles that I’ve learned from running a business have actually transferred to being in the classroom. So things that now as I think of the future, you know, I’ve told you I’ll My oldest is in kindergarten. So I’m just now getting used to having children on a, you know, a normal school day schedule again, and thinking about, Wow, I’m only three years out from having my youngest beyond that, what will my career look like, in three years? You know, Will I have the capacity to go back full time into the classroom, like I always said, or maybe part time, so I can still run? It’s not rocket science, or do I keep just doing it’s not rocket science, you know, I have all these things I’m thinking. But as I’m thinking of those, I’m always thinking about how I will do things differently. In the classroom, based on how this hiatus from the classroom has gone, you know, I’ve learned so much, being a mother has changed me, you know, down to my DNA, that also being a business owner, that’s not anything I ever intended to do. Those of you who have been on my corner, you know, my side of the internet since the beginning, when I started, it’s not rocket science in 2016. I started this so that I could afford to take a maternity leave one day because I had unpaid maternity leave at the school I was at. And then it just kind of exploded into something that, you know, by the time we adopted our oldest in March of 2018, I knew I could not teach full time and run this business. I just didn’t have the capacity. But, you know, things have changed and things have continued to grow. And so I’m always evaluating that. But I’m always doing everything. Every resource, I create every podcast, I record, every blog, I write every email I send you, I’m thinking about future me, you know, being in the classroom, what I would do differently. And ironically, that’s kind of the theme of this episode is this idea of serving future me. Okay, this is something I heard, you know, from the lazy genius Kyndra hdaci, who y’all know, I love her so much. And I’m always thinking about how her principles apply to what we do in the classroom are what I do with this business. And she has this one, and it’s this idea of serving future me. So I like to do a lot of things now that will serve future me, if I do go back to the classroom, or however that will look. Or if I want to, like, kind of run this business more passively and not always be putting out podcasts and writing emails and just kind of let it go as ever wants to go. Because you all know like when I started isn’t rocket science, I did not set out thinking it would become what it would become like, if you had told me I’d have a podcast, I probably didn’t even know what a podcast was in 2016. You know, it’s rocket science was a passion project to see what we could do to kind of alleviate our personal finances in a potential maternity leave, and it’s become a business. And I’ve always created things first, not rocket science, solely based on what aligns with my personal giftings. But then also what I feel like it’s not rocket science resource users need. I’ve never really like sat down and strategize or figure out like how I can exponentially grow my income or the status of my business. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And the people that do that in the education space, I have no shade for that. It’s just not me, like I don’t have a business bone in my body, I create these resources. And I put out this content just because I genuinely like enjoy doing it. And I always want to do this in a way that’s fun. I’ve always said for it’s not rocket science to continue for me to like not shut this down. It has to be done sustainably, and in a way that’s sustainable. And that can change with like the changing needs and the changing stages of my family in order to make sure it is sustainable, not sucking the life out of me. You know, this is why some of y’all were so patient. When I wrote that chemistry curriculum, it took me 18 months, it’s never taken me that long to write a curriculum. But it was because I wanted to write it in a way that it didn’t, you know, cost my family. And so one of the ways that I’ve made this business sustainable, is by spending my very limited work time on things that will serve future me. And again, that’s kind of the theme of this. And that’s what’s going to transfer to the classroom for you is I’m going to share with you five ways that you can serve future you so that you can work smarter, rather than harder with a limited time you have because you probably want your teaching career to be sustainable. Just like I want my business to be sustainable, which means we have to set up to use the limited amount of time that we have in a way that will maximize long term potential benefit. And so I’m going to share with you some of the tactics that I’ve learned and use in my business in order to do this. I’m still learning so much like y’all know this is not my necessary, innate skill set. but I’m learning a lot. And I’m excited to share with you just kind of what I’ve learned and how I think it can apply to your classroom too. So let’s dive into five ways that you can serve future you right now to make your life easier and your job more sustainable in the future. 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 spent 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.

All right, so the first thing that I do in business that totally applies to teaching and that I would continue to do forever and always to serve future me. And I want you to do is coming up with step by step checklists. So here’s what I mean by that. Oftentimes, we have things that come up in our work that, you know, aren’t necessarily like day to day tasks, but are things that come up semi frequently. And when it comes up, we’re often like, oh, we had to do this thing again. And it can feel almost overwhelming, even though it’s a semi rote process, like you’ve done it lots of times, but you’re not doing every day. And it can be overwhelming. And so when I have those types of things, I like to create a step by step checklist. So let me give you some examples of how I do this in my work now, and then how it can apply in the classroom. So for instance, I started selling resources on teacherspayteachers, I now also have my own website where I sell resources, but because I’ve always kind of followed the TPT way I do sales when they do sales. And I that’s the only time I do it on my website, too is when TBT does a sale. And they they’re always once per quarter. And some of them are pretty predictable, like quarter four is always Cyber Monday, Tuesday. But the other ones like they don’t give us the dates until you know, basically, the week before we get an email with the dates. And there’s all these things I have to do. When they tell us there’s going to be a sale, I have all these things I have to do, I have to put my store on sale, I have to make a coupon code for my website, I have to like plan out emails to send you guys to let you know that they’re happening. You don’t have a whole list of things. And every time I would get the email from them, I’d get this pit in my stomach, like, Oh, I gotta do this all over again. Well, now I have a step by step checklist that I have written out on my computer, it’s digitize of like, okay, you got the email about the sale, here are the 10 things you need to do so that everything’s ready and in place for that sale. Another thing for the my most recent curriculum that I wrote chemistry, it was the first time I paid to have an editor, and it was the best. So I would write everything and I would do my my own, like personal four to five proofreading checks. And I would send things to her and then she would proofread and check. And it was so great. But still, things slip through typos slip through because we’re humans, we’re not you know, computers, we’re not AI. So every once in awhile, I get an email from one of y’all about a typo, you know, in a packet. And every time I’d be like, Oh, I don’t want to change this, because there’s so many places it has to be changed, you know, it has to be changed in the CPE version, the honors version, the fill in the blank version that filled in the original, the digital, the answer key, like there’s all these different places. And so finally, I made a step by step checklist one day of like, okay, you get an email, and there’s a typo, here’s what you need to do. First, you check to make sure there actually is a typo. Because every once awhile someone says something may be wrong, but it’s actually right and actually explain it to them. But most of the time they’re writing it is a typo. And then I walk through the steps of this, it makes it so much less overwhelming that instead of now me getting an email about a typo or me being like, Ah, I’ve got to do all these things. It’s gonna take me an hour, it’s like, no, I know exactly what I need to do. I just put my checklist, I just start working through it, it takes some of the emotion out of it. Other examples are like if I get a purchase order something from a school, we have a checklist for this. Now, here’s the bonus that makes the step by step checklist. So helpful. You add timestamps, okay, so what I’ve done is I have timed myself doing these checklists. And so I know, okay, if I get an email, there’s a sale, it’s going to take me 35 minutes with if I have no interruptions to walk through this whole list, or if I get a typo in a packet, I know that it takes me 28 minutes to correct it and then fix it everywhere and then re upload it in all the places it has to be re uploaded and then notify the people that have changed. It is a 28 minute process. Y’all I cannot tell you that sounds so simple just to have a checklist with a time estimate on it. But it’s so encouraging because like you get this thing you’re like oh, whole nother thing to add to my to do list, but it’s like no, no, I know this is a 28 Minute task. All I need to make sure as I have 20 minutes at the start of naptime or at the end of my kids rest time to do this. I know I can knock it out. And it’s such an encouragement it just makes again it’s a one time thing I have to make this list And it serves to future me over and over and over again. So what does this look like in the classroom? Maybe this is the process of writing a unit test. Again, we’re looking for tasks here. That’s not like you’re doing this every day, you’re not running a test every day. But you’re probably writing one once a month, you know, for your unit tests, if not, you know, maybe a little bit more for different classes. So maybe this looks like when you’re writing a test, you make a step by step checklist of the process, like, Okay, first, I’m going to do these multiple choice, and then I’m going to do this, then I’m going to make the answer sheet and then I’m going to make an answer key, I’m going to double check for typos, you’re going to write out every single step of the process. And then the next time you do it, you’re going to time yourself doing each of those parts of it. And then if you could have sections of it timed out, plus an overall timestamp, y’all, it’ll encourage you so much, because then the next time it comes around, where you need to write, you know, your unit test, you’re like, Okay, I’m not starting from scratch, I have a checklist of a process to walk through. And it is so helpful. When your brain is frazzled, and you’re exhausted. When you get a task you don’t want to do to know that you’re almost like the past you is holding your hands through this process. Another example of this, when I was student council, like chairperson, I had to plan spirit week, that was one of my tasks. And you know, technically the student council is supposed to plan it. But there’s a lot that is still my responsibility. And so the first year I did it, it was like working from scratch. I went to the old student council chair who was on his last year before retirement that he did student council for 15 years. And I kind of asked him for his process, and he didn’t have anything written out. And I was like, oh, so I kind of had to figure it out as I went, but I was what I did is or future me is I wrote it down as we went, and I wrote down, and it was so helpful. I’ll even put things like, hey, Spirit Week is in February. But in August, you need to do XYZ. And then in September, you need to go ahead and reach out to all the different, you know, department chairs that are charged different things do this. And then October, you need to have two student council meetings where you plan out XYZ. And in December, you need to order the t shirt. You know, there were so many things, but writing out that step by step plan made future years so helpful. And y’all it was such a gift. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it on here before but especially my last year in the classroom full time, we were had a placement for an adoption, and it ended up being a failed placement. So essentially, the expectant mother chose us for her child. In October, she was due in January, we got the call in January, like she’s in the hospital, like pack your bags. And then she ended up deciding to parent instead of place the child with us. And that next day was a start spirit week. And I was just like, emotionally distraught. My admin was amazing. They told me you know, don’t come in for this week, whatever. And so I didn’t. But because I had this whole thing written out of like how to run spirit week and who needs to be were on who’s in charge of what and kind of i over just over solid, y’all it made such a difference. And it’s such a game changer. And then when I ended up not going back to the classroom after that, because then in March, we adopted our son who is our forever son, and my maternity leave went into summer, I didn’t go back that next August, I was able to give that to the new person who’s in charge of student council, and they basically kiss me on the mouth. I mean, they didn’t, actually but that was like the sentiment, they were just so grateful that such a help. The other thing I would say too, is another checklist you might want is like your end of unit checklist, or that start of the next unit checklists. Like when you’re wrapping up a unit, what do you need to make sure you remember to do every single time to prepare for the next unit? So doesn’t sneak up on you like, yeah, while I’m making copies of the end of unit test, I also need to be making copies of the next unit packet. So that that’s ready to go, you know, you have may have a lot of little tasks there. So do that. Another great checklist to have is what do you need to do for each progress report or end of quarter? What does that look like? So when you get to these moments, you don’t have to dread them. Because past you is already set up a process that feature you can just walk through almost like a robot, we want to kind of get to robot status in terms of automation. Okay. My second tip for serving future you is kind of adjacent, but it’s a little bit different. It’s just the idea of spreadsheets. Y’all, I cannot tell you how much I love spreadsheets for making project plans. And I have Google spreadsheets for literally everything. I plan out my podcast ideas and what I’m going to do for those I plan out just all my content for social media for the year on a spreadsheet. I even made a spreadsheet when I wrote the anatomy curriculum of like, how do I write curriculum? That’s like a much bigger project plan. You know, this last one, we’re just talking like a checklist. How do I get through a couple, maybe a day’s worth or a couple days worth of work? Spreadsheets. I mean, we’re talking we have tabs for lots of different things. This is a big picture project plan. And this is so helpful. It just gives you such an organized visual, you don’t have everything on post it notes like all over the place. And I recommend you have a spreadsheet in a project plan for your entire school year. map it out, put on each tab, a different prep you have and kind of plan out okay, this is kind of what it’s going to look like as we walk through August, September. October November for each course that I’m teaching, here’s kind of the things, you know, maybe for biology, I teach ecology at the end of the year. So that’s usually around May. But in April, I need to be putting together the purchase order for all the supplies I’m going to need for my ecosystem and a bottle investigation. So I can get that approved, signed off, get that ready, I want you to make this for each prep that you have, make a spreadsheet, a tab for each prep, and kind of just put things in, especially to if you’re like me, and you like to stagger when your units and for each class, if you can, I just think there’s a lot of end of unit tasks and new unit things to do. I like to stagger them. So they’re not all ending at the same time. Make a spreadsheet of that. And the other thing that this is awesome with is like, these are live documents, so you can edit them as you go tweak them as you go. And then let’s say next year, you don’t teach biology, okay, you don’t delete the tab, you just move it to the end of your spreadsheet, save it because maybe in two years, you’re gonna teach biology again, and you’re gonna be so glad you had this whole spreadsheet and project plan, if you will, of what it looks like to teach this. The other thing I like to consider when I’m looking at these project plans is like I said earlier, when is spirit week? When is senior skip day Traditionally, when do the seniors checkout in general? Like if you teach an AP class? Are they gone? You know, what are you new through juniors and it kind of gets just gets it all organized. And you can look at all of it and really consider your scope and sequence for each course and what’s going to make the most sense. So I love a spreadsheet or project plan for those big picture things. And you want to have them all organized and looking the same. So you can look at them all at once. Alright, the third thing that I do, y’all, I love this so much. And I wish I wish I had known to do this when I was in the classroom. And if I go back to the classroom one day, this will 1,000% be something I do. It’s videoing and or writing out answers to frequently asked questions. So I have a Google Doc, I think it’s like 97 pages at this point. But I call it my FAQ page. And if I get an email from a teacher who uses my resources, or listened to podcasts, wherever, and I see it maybe more than once, then I consider it potentially a frequently asked question. And I go ahead. And well, first thing I do is I’m like, is there anything I could change in the resource to make this preventable? Like, is there something I could have put in the in the resource so that they didn’t have this confusion or whatever. But then if there’s not, and I can’t go ahead and tweak that, I go ahead and add it to my FAQ page, I save it. And then when I get an email or a question from someone, and I’m like, Hmm, that feels reminiscent of something I’ve heard before, I kind of search some of the key words, and I can find if I already have a template to respond to it to. And then my favorite thing to do is video or response. So I live for like a screen recorded video. I don’t know about you, but I have QuickTime Player. I think it just came with my laptop, I don’t know, but I’ve used it forever. That’s how I record all my lecture videos. I just like take screen video recordings of my screen, like you wouldn’t loom or Screencast O Matic or something. And then that’s how I upload my my lecture videos on my YouTube channel. But I love doing them too to answer people’s questions, especially if it’s like a tech question or they can’t find something in my unit, or video me showing you how to open the folder and find it and do whatever and then I save those links. And then I can send it to anyone else that has a question. It’s just I can’t explain how helpful it is. And I think it’s just nice to have a visual, I love a good visual. And I think, you know others do too. And so I think here’s ways that I think you could do this for yourself in the classroom, that would be so helpful. Obviously, like doing this, if you have questions that parents ask a lot, kind of giving yourself some templates is great. You know, maybe giving them maybe taking a screen recording of the parent portal or you know, your online learning management system to give them a tour. If they have questions. That’s always great. But I also think this would be so great for your students. Okay, so I think making like slides like this for every lab you do. So let’s say as you’re going through this next school year, you do a lab in your chemistry class. And you see, and students ask like these eight questions, I would write all this down. And I would make slides for them. So that when you’re going over the lab, I always like to like the day before a lab, I like to spend the last 15 or 20 minutes of the previous class going through the lab with them. And then we just hit the highlights on the actual lab day. But I would make slides and I’d put a frequently asked question and put the question at the top, and then go ahead and put in the answer. And then you save the slides all and you can use them every year after that, that you do this lab in every other class section that you do. If you have three, you know anatomy classes, you can use them for all three. I think also too, you can even make a video recording and save it. And then you can put a QR code that they can scan in or a link that they can click showing a demo of something. So like let’s say there’s a part of the lab that is always kind of tricky. And so you always show it up front, you know, so that to make sure they do it right when they’re sent off on their own. Why not video yourself doing that. And then make the code add it to your lab implementation slides. And then anytime your kids do a lab you send them the slides They can have them on their desktop, you could have them projected. But I just think it would be so helpful. And it would save you so much time. And then when they’re asking you questions during lab, you’re like, Did you check the FAQ yet? Do you check the FAQ slides? Did you watch any of those videos yet, and they’ll have a reference of those. And that takes maybe five to 10 minutes of your time per lab to like, make it and then you’re just going to be tweaking this over the years, you can send it to your students, it would be so helpful. I’m always personally jotting notes like physically on my labs to remember for the next year, but why not just make it a slide that you can then project and go through? How helpful would that be? Okay, so to serve feature you, we’re gonna make step by step checklist for things you’re doing like monthly or quarterly, we’re gonna make spreadsheets or project plans for like, big picture things you’re doing for the whole year and looking at you want a visual, we’re gonna video ourselves doing things. And we’re gonna write out answers to FAQs, frequently asked questions that your students have. So you don’t have to keep being so repetitive, especially for labs. And then the fourth tip I have for you is batching. I’ve talked about this before, but batching is just doing a lot of the same task over and over to increase efficiency. So for example, once a month, I block off an entire week. And all I do in that week is I write podcast episodes, and I record them and I write my emails for Tuesday about them. And I do that all over the course of one week. It allows me to only get the podcast equipment out for one weekend, a month. And it just I kind of just get in the zone, doing it over and over again. And then the rest of the month, I’m able to work on my other projects. But for you, there’s so many ways that you can batch in a classroom that’ll just make your life so much easier and more efficient. So I’ve talked about this before, but with grading, I grade open response questions on tests, question by question, which I know sounds maybe inefficient. But I’m telling you right now, to walk through and answer every single question number 22. At the same time, all 50 or 60, then that you’re having to do, it goes so much faster. And you’re gonna be so much more fair when you’re giving partial credit, because you’re going to memorize the answer and memorize exactly what to look for. And you’re just going to belie through grading those, I highly recommend batch grading like that question by question on this open response ones. I also recommend batching. When it comes to lesson planning for an entire unit. I think one of the biggest ways that we waste time as teachers is when we get stuck on like a day to day lesson plan schedule, or even like we’re only doing a week at a time, it is so inefficient to have to put your head in that mindspace of lesson planning and do it over and over again, it’s so much easier if you have seven units to only do it seven times the entire school year, sit down and do the entire unit at once. I also think it makes your instructional resources much better aligned. If you’re looking at the whole unit as once and y’all I’ve always done this with the exception of when I taught AP Biology. Because AP Bio I’ve told y’all it was my fifth prep at the time, first time teaching it, I was so overwhelmed. I had no time to do this. So I was kind of doing one week at a time in terms of my lesson plans. And I know that it was such a waste of time, every time I would sit down to do it. I’m like I’m wasting so much time. But I truly was so overwhelmed that I like couldn’t get to a place that I could look far enough ahead to do a unit at a time. And I just I physically felt how it was probably taking me twice as long as it should have, I could have cut that time in half if I could have built out some space and some capacity to batch lesson planning by unit. So I really recommend doing that. At the beginning of the year, I really recommend printing out all of your station cards or anything like that, that you’re going to want to laminate, go ahead and print it all cut it all laminate it all all at the beginning of the year. So you have it ready to go. Then when you’re getting to the start of that unit. It’s not like oh, what do I have to print out for this unit, you have those reusable cards ready. If you tweak them at the end of the year, then you’re going to go ahead and reprint them out to begin the year getting ready to go. I also think batching emails to parents is something that goes a lot more efficiently for you at all at once. I’ve told you all I’m really working my professional development course, my secondary science, simplified PD, I’m so excited about it. And I’m offering each section of the original course as like a mini course mini unit. And then you can get the whole bundle. But one of the courses is about relationships. And it’s all about relationships with students, parents, admin and co workers. And I just get there’s four lessons in it. I give you all the strategies and then I always give you support docs too. But one of the things that I’ve added to the course that I’m so excited about that wasn’t in the original rounds of offering the course is I’ve added some email templates. And these are literally just swipe files like you can copy and paste these into your emails right now. One is like a positive email like when you want to tell parents and then you’re seeing positively about a student. One is when you have to reach out to them about something negative. And then the third template is for like when you’re sending out a weekly or monthly you know kind of newsletter blast to parents about what’s going on in your classroom. And it’s so easy off you have this template. Just copy paste, copy, paste, change out the different things that need to be changed out. You will be amazed how many emails you can send out about positive encouragement to parents, if you just sit down and you say Friday afternoon is when I write these emails for an hour, and then I go, and I don’t do this the rest of the week, it will save you so much time. I’m obsessed with batching. And then the fifth tip I have for you to serve future you. And again, this is something I’ve done in business, but it was so apply the classroom is doing it the right way the first time. Okay, now, obviously, sometimes you don’t know what the right way is the first time you do it. When I first started writing curriculum, in 2016, that’s when I published my first curriculum, which was biology. I never in a million years thought it would be what it’s become. And I did not know what I was doing. Okay, I had a lot of good ideas. But in terms of like, formatting and predicting what people would have questions with and problems with and how best to explain how to do something, I was still such a novice. So I couldn’t really do that right? The first time. All right, I got it. But over time, I’ve learned how to do that so much better. So in 2020, I rewrote the entire biology curriculum, just because I’ve gotten so much better at writing curriculum since that very first one. And in 20, I wrote physical science in 2017. And that’s the one that’s been the most neglected. So it’s going to get a facelift and a rewrite this upcoming school year, I’m really excited to be working on that. And if you own physical science, just know that you’re going to get you get all updates for life for free. So you’ll get all these revamped units as they’re finished. But I will say it was such a blessing to me when I wrote chemistry, even though it took me 18 months. Because I had that project plan. I told you, I had my spreadsheet, I had, I had checklists for different tasks, and I knew how long it would take me to do certain things. And then I also knew I really have a process now for how to write curriculum the right way. I did chemistry right the first time, I don’t foresee myself ever needing to rewrite the chemistry or the honestly, or the anatomy curriculum that I wrote in 2019. Because I really knew what I was doing and how to do it well. And I did a lot of things the right way, as opposed to the fastest way the first time. I did it right. For instance, with chemistry, I went ahead and I typed out every single answer to every single quantitative problem and chemistry. I didn’t do that with physical science. I wrote out a lot by hand, but then that doesn’t really serve the long term. This time I typed it all out. Did it take so much longer to make the answer keys? Yes, it did. But now it’s so much easier if there is a typo. If I do change something, I have this digital version, I can just tweak really quickly. And so I really recommend doing it the right way the first time and then you’re just gonna, it’s gonna make your future self so much better served. So for example, in the classroom, this looks like making rubrics anytime you assign a project or a creative assignment instructional resource, go ahead and just make a rubric. I have rubric templates in my assessments PD course, and I’ll link if you go to It’s not rocket science, classroom.com/p D. That’s where I’ll post about the PD when it’s all done and ready. I’m shooting for July 15. But I have all these rubric templates in the assessments unit in terms of how to write assessments, but like y’all can write a rubric, you can do this. And you can use it over and over again, it’s gonna make grading it so much easier. Another thing doing it right the first time is editing typos. The second you see a typo in something. Don’t just write a note to change it later. Literally just open up the file and go ahead and change it so that you have it if you have paper copies or something like for instance, when I do station cards, and there’s a typo. As soon as like we’re done using the station cards for that year, I go ahead and throw them away so that at the start of the next year, I’m not pulling out these station cards, I

have a typo on him. I’m like, Oh, where are the station cards? Oh yeah, it was a typo. So I have to redo it, go ahead and make the change right away. Change the resource as soon as you can to serve feature you and honestly just do it right the first time. So I hope these ideas help you these are principles that have really helped me as I’ve done it’s not rocket science and I think I would really use to my advantage too if when if and when hopefully I go back to the classroom in some capacity. We’ll see we’ll see what happens it’s not rocket science. I’m not making any more predictions because it’s it’s gone so much differently than I ever anticipated. So let me know how are you most excited to serve future you next school year? Is there something you’re doing this summer just to kind of get ahead and serve future year you I would love to hear you can DM me on Instagram at it’s not not dot rocket dot science or email me at Rebecca isn’t rocket science classroom. And I would love it if you haven’t left a review yet. Y’all don’t even know the reviews for the podcast means so much to me. Leave a review if you want to do your job in a way that’s sustainable for the long haul. If you want to do some of these things on the front end to make your life easier down the road. I would love to hear about it. And if you want that link to that PD, or anything else I mentioned you can go to isn’t rocket science classroom.com/episode 138 To access the show notes. 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.

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