Tired of Playing Catch-up in the Classroom? Here’s How to Fix It!


Are you tired of playing catch-up in the classroom? Scrambling to plan and prep, grade papers, and always racing against the clock? It doesn’t have to be that way! Luckily, if you’re always playing catch-up in the classroom, there’s an easy way to fix it. By working ahead instead of staying behind, planning and prepping over the summer break to lay a strong foundation for the start of the school year, and using readily-available tips and techniques to make lesson planning, grading, and teaching easier, you can find yourself ahead of the game before the next break!

Are you tired of playing catch-up in the classroom? Scrambling to plan and prep, grade papers, and always racing against the clock? It doesn’t have to be that way! Luckily, if you’re always playing catch-up in the classroom, there’s an easy way to fix it. By working ahead instead of staying behind, planning and prepping over the summer break to lay a strong foundation for the start of the school year, and using readily-available tips and techniques to make lesson planning, grading, and teaching easier, you can find yourself ahead of the game before the next break! #lessonplanning #classroommanagement #whyiteach
The most effective teachers don’t try to recreate the wheel. Instead, they use resources that are easily-accessed, easy-to-implement, and easy on the budget! Luckily, there are a few resources and techniques that will help you finally put the game of catch-up to bed. Implementing some or all of these fixes will help you to not only find more time in your hectic school day, but also lessen your stress level! (And in today’s school environment, don’t we all need a little stress relief?!)


How do you get started? Well, building a solid foundation is the best way to kick off the school year right. By effectively planning your units, you can ensure that you’re meeting all content standards, maximizing student understanding, and making your job easier!


Organized Curriculum Mapping: This (FREE!) Curriculum Calendar or Map Template will help you map or organize your unit plans with ease. No longer will you look down to find your desk littered with lesson plans and no longer will you struggle to properly format your weekly/monthly/unit-long plans. Remove the guesswork with the Curriculum Calendar.

Seamless Lesson Planning: Use these Google Drive templates to lesson plan and unit plan! Design online and print as needed. You can include standards, objectives, program of studies, daily activities, bellringers, exit slips, modifications, and more! Adaptable for a 15 day unit plan and great for students who need to complete make-up work.

Clearly Communicating Your Expectations: Just as important as a well-developed unit plan, a syllabus is instrumental to starting the school year off on the right foot. Providing clear, understandable expectations to your students from day one will help to smoothe the inevitable transition period at the beginning of each school year, and will allow everyone to easily access the plan for the year. This specific World History Syllabus template includes strategies for teaching World History content, student responsibilities, discipline policies, grading policies, and a parent/student contract. Easily editable, this syllabus is perfect for any World History or World Studies class.

Advanced Placement (AP) Preparation: Though all classes need proper preparation, your AP courses especially need thorough development and attention to detail! Using this editable 16-page AP Introduction Packet, you can communicate strategies, expectations, grading options, course requirements, supply lists, summer assignments, thesis assistance, study skills, and graphic organizers! A complete resource for AP courses, this one is a must-have.

Complete Back to School Classroom Organization: To ensure that you have ALL the resources, tips, and techniques necessary to start the school year right, this Back to School Organization and Classroom Management Bundle aligns with Angela Watson’s 40 Hour Teacher Workweek. This bundle includes seating charts, organizational tools and posters, lesson organization, classroom management tools, first day activities, student organizers, teacher portfolio guides, and tons of other products!

New teacher? First day jitters? Don't become the teacher who is always playing catch-up in your classroom! Staying two steps behind in a classroom that is moving at full-speed around you will only lead to stress and resentment toward your career! By planning throughout the summer and implementing new teaching techniques and fixes to help ease you into your first school year, you can start the year on a solid foundation that will surely lead to success! #newteacher #whyiteach #firstdayofschool #firstyearteacher

The Ultimate Lesson Plan for Teachers: For a more comprehensive guide to all things teaching, A Lesson Plan for Teachers, New or Old (Experienced, that is!) is a step-by-step guide for any student teacher, new teacher, or experienced teacher. It covers all aspects of an effective, efficient, high-expectations classroom. Including organization, the first day of school, administration, co-worker relationships, and many antecdotes, this book really has it all.

Combatting First Day Jitters: If you need a little more help in the first day of school department, this First Day of School Guide will help to plan the perfect start to your school year. With an introduction on expectations and standards, a full agenda with ice breakers, introductions, syllabi coverage, and more, this guide will help you plan a first day lesson plan that you can work through without the butterflies.

BONUS! Scavenge your way through the first day with this Editable First Days of School Classroom Scavenger Hunt. With a little humor, you’ll survive the first day basics without a hitch!

Soliciting Student Feedback: After you’ve perfectly planned and executed the first day, this Student Survey for Learning Evaluation will ensure that all expectations are communicated effectively and your students have a good understanding of how the year will progress. Providing them this outlet for feedback involves everyone in the learning process.

Are you a Grade A procrastinator, barely surviving school year after school year, finishing each lesson plan a day late and a dollar short with a stress level off the charts? Why?! There are so many existing techniques, lesson plans, and teaching techniques that can break your procrastination habit! Start the next school year on solid ground with summer preparation that will set you up for a successful school year! #procrastinatingteacher #gradeaprocrastinator #teacherswhoprocrastinate #teachingstrategies
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and your parents probably drilled the same adage into your head. To be successful, be prepared! A teacher who is playing catch-up in the classroom is already two steps behind. It’s hard enough to get caught up, but even harder to get ahead! Planning and preparing over the summer can help you to build a strong foundation for the school year and you can move with ease to the next break! Using these resources to keep daily obligations at a minimum and tweaking lessons and grading to work effectively for you will help you to stay one step ahead of the next curve ball that comes your way.

Happy Teaching!

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Michele Luck
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