How to be a together teacher

I started this self-paced MOOC on the 29th. It’s offered on Coursera by Relay/GSE. It’s a six-week course that helps students develop a few time and task management tools.

There are three main strategies discussed in the course. The first strategy introduced is the “Weekly Worksheet”, where you track all your time and to-dos, and that extends to a “Comprehensive Calendar” that involves tracking all your deadlines and events for the entire school year. Finally, you’re encouraged to keep a comprehensive list of to-dos that would not fit on your weekly worksheet or calendar.

I use a different tool for each of these functions, and in my opinion they are all really good at what they do. I like Google Calendar to maintain my weekly schedule, because I can always access it and it’s easy to add events and move things around. I prefer Remember The Milk to track deadlines because it’s simple to add tasks, group them into lists, and see what’s due today, tomorrow, or this week; a lot more functional than Google Calendar’s tasks function. And I like the old-fashioned pocket notebook to catch tasks and ideas as they arise, and to record all to-dos without deadlines, because it’s always there and as we all know there’s something about the physical act of writing things out that makes them memorable.

One of the first assignments is to place a pin in a map along side your fellow students, and it shows that people all over the world want to be together teachers. It’s always interesting to interact with people from other parts of the globe in these MOOCs. All of the assignments are peer reviewed, so you get a look at a diverse group of submissions. I’ve looked into the lives of teachers from South Africa to Singapore. They’re not so different from my own. The struggle to manage time and task is real.

I recommend this course for any teacher in need of some basic being-an-adult skills. This is stuff they don’t cover in EDU-101, and they weren’t teaching it when I was in high school. It’s not as specific to the classroom as I imagined it would be when I signed up, but still well worth anyone’s time. Taking the course in the summer was a little challenging. The assignments ask that you build these tools, and mine were quite empty. But in the end I regret nothing.

Keep it together. Stay virtuous!