Ep 83. Project Management for Teachers | My New Found Love
Dec 27, 2022
No matter what planner I’ve had or lesson planning system I’ve used, I have always felt that the big tasks, the big projects I was working on as a teacher - like planning a unit, creating an assessment, planning out review and remediation, etc. - I always felt that no matter the lists I made to know what needed accomplished it just felt like I was barely keeping my head above water to get it all created and done in time.
Now, with Asana in my business, which absolutely applies to lesson planning and creation, then implementation in the classroom, I’m able to see when something I’m creating needs to be absolutely finished, and plan backwards, seeing where I have time available and when I’m able to work on it, and when I need to have certain aspects done in order to keep the train moving, but in ways that I’m not always thinking about only it.
In the classroom, if I ever wanted to implement something new and it required my creating and planning all the things, and I was passionate about it, then it’s all I thought about, because if not, I would inevitably miss something. Using Asana, or other project management software frees me from that obsessive-like thinking and even paranoia that I so often felt in the classroom.
Quick explanation of what Asana allows me to do - Youtube video coming soon where I’ll show you - a project for each class where then I have a task for creating an assessment, planning unit 2, any student project I’m creating or implementing, etc. I assign all those things to me and not just when they will happen in my classroom, but on the subtask of let’s say a unit plan I’m making is to create or double check the test for that unit, I can actually put a date on that task as to when I’m going to work on it, so that when I open up Asana, it shows me “Mandy, here’s what you’re working on today.” And that view is called My Tasks. The My Tasks view is like an Alfred to Batman, or Chief of Staff to the President - it is your very own little assistant letting you know, here are your goals, and here is what you should be working on and accomplishing today. BAM - seriously, life changing.
Context switching is slowly killing all of us. It’s why I still take one day to get all laundry done - becuase I don’t want to have to worry about laundry every day of the week - I want to be able to focus elsewhere 6 days a week, then have laundry be a partial focus for only one day.
But if that’s not scheduled in, then I can easily blow right past it and forget all about it, then really setting myself up for failure when the time comes and I have nothing prepared. Take lesson planning for instance.
On monday’s I prepare the next week’s lessons, on tuesdays I’m creating anything that needs created for next week or the next unit, on Wednesday I am calling parents/following up on student data and various emails, on Thursday’s I’m finishing creating anything, and on Friday I’m making copies.
It’s like the idea of having theme days, but instead of just having those theme days, I have it all planned out in Asana as to exactly what I’m accomplishing each day leading up to actually implementing it in the classroom.
Collaboration with other teachers - if you’re lucky enough to teach the same course with others and actually have a collaborative relationship, sharing jobs, Asana allows you to assign who is doing what all in the free version of the platform. Then you’ll be notified when it’s completed and can go about doing your task that may have depended on there’s. In the upgraded version of Asana, you can have dependencies on tasks which is really nice, but not absolutely necessary.
The color coding is amazing and is reason enough to give it a try - all the colors for each of your project boards can match your classroom colors, but can also serve your organization purposes, signally to your brain specific classes or tasks that you decide as part of your system.
It’s not just professional stuff that I’m tracking. I am tracking big goals, and even house projects, and smaller items like appointments. Now, I’m not tracking appointments on here so that I remember to go them - that’s how I use Google Calendar still. I track appointments and such so that I know specific days that I can put things on my plate or else set myself up for disaster.
If you want to learn about Asana and even get signed up with your own free account (whether you upgrade in the future or not) head to this link where you can get set up for free today.
Hey! I'm Mandy. I've been teaching for 10 years and flipping for about the same. I hope you find just what you need here in my little edupreneur website and blog your all your flipped classroom needs.