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How to Prioritize

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

Author: Dawn Mitchell


Many of you have completed your first few weeks of teaching.  Please know if you are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and already a little behind it is normal.

If you are like me, you may not be finishing everything on your to-do list each day. Yet, everything on your list and in your email inbox is feeling urgent. Here are a few helpful tips by Angela Watson for how to prioritize what is most important. 

1) Recognize that you can’t do it all, and everything is not equally important.

2) Distinguish between the urgent and the important.

3) Respond to interruptions while still making planned work the priority.

4) Get information out of your head and onto a list.

5) Figure out the most important task of the day and do it first.

6) Group similar tasks together to increase efficiency and avoid multi-tasking.

7) When in doubt, choose the kids.  (YES! YES! YES!)

We know how hard you are working each and every day before and after school to check and respond to emails, to reach out to parents, to take time to really get to know your students as individuals and as classes, to build relationships with colleagues, and most importantly to do the tremendous task every afternoon to prepare high quality instruction for your students the next day. 

When you feel like you are spinning your wheels, stop and consider what is essential for the next class, the next day, and what will have the most impact on your students.

If you are interested in seeing specific tips for each of these items and hearing Watson’s podcast, click on the link below.


Dawn J. Mitchell,

President, SCASCD



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