Time Management: Planning is Key

Featured Picture– This week’s featured picture is of scenic Augusta , GA. Augusta is known for being the host city of the PGA Master’s and it is also the location of one of our physical centers as well as the home of one of our partnership sites with the National Guard Youth Challenge Academy (YCA)- the YCA Fort Gordon!

Time Management- Time management is most simply the wise and efficient use of time to complete all of the tasks we must accomplish on a daily basis whether those tasks are meeting deadlines for work, arriving to class on time, or getting errands done within a specific timeframe. 

One of my favorite quotes about time management comes from one of my favorite President’s, Honest Abe Lincoln. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Lincoln brings up the most important thing to remember when discussing time management, that a failure to prepare and plan for how we spend our time will ultimately make more work for us!

For me, preparing starts and ends with scheduling. I use multiple tools and resources to help me organize and schedule my day. Three of the tools can be seen in the picture below. Pictured from left to right you will find my “Kind heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit” journal, my jumbo desk calendar,  and my magnetized floral notepad. Each serves a different purpose which I will breakdown for your below. 

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Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit Journal– My journal is where I give a detailed description of my thoughts on all of the things I have scheduled for each day. For example, on days when I have a specific meeting with my boss or any other member of our organization I use my journal to write out notes on points I would like to cover in that meeting. I also make sure to explain why this particular thought is important to me. This not only helps me remember all of the things I would like to discuss, but because I operate under the rule of thumb that if I can’t write more than three sentences about why whatever I want to discuss is important than bringing it up in that specific meeting may not be the best use of my time. 

Jumbo Desk Calendar- My jumbo desk calendar is the place where I do all of my long-term planning. This means all of the events in my professional or personal life that require me to physically leave the town I reside in, for the entire year, are noted here. This helps me stay organized and gives me a good overview of each month and long-range oversight of multiple months. For example, there are a few days during the month of March where my attendance elsewhere in the state is required. Seeing this on my calendar helps me plan how my time during the weeks leading up to this type of event should be organized.

Magnetized Floral Notepad- My magnetized floral notepad helps remind me of meetings or tasks that are urgent as I stick this on my refrigerator door. After much trial and error, I found that the refrigerator door was the best place to keep important tasks because not only does my refrigerator house all of my yummy snacks and thirst-quenching water, but it is located directly next to our coffee/tea station which is another place I visit quite frequently 🙂

Other Tools- In order to help remind myself further of my daily, weekly, and monthly obligations, I also use the calendar associated with my email account to create reminders for myself. I can vouch personally for the effectiveness of both the calendar/event scheduling capabilities of Outlook and Gmail. Since my email accounts are linked to my phone, these reminders which I already have written out in the other places mentioned above, are sent directly to my phone.  This is helpful for me because in the event I am away from my journal, calendar, notepad,  or any of these tangible reminders are misplaced, the digital reminder alerts me of something I need to do.

A day in the Life of the GACHS Virtual Learning Manager

The last tool I use which I find EXTREMELY helpful is a schedule template that divides my day into 30 minutes increments. You can find out what a typical day in the life of GACHS Virtual Manager can look like by clicking on the link below to view the specific template I use. For your convenience, I have filled out Monday to show you how I organize my time but have left the rest of the days of the week blank. You can download this template and customize it any way you would like :). Some people find that scheduling your day 30 minutes at a time is too strict of a schedule, but for me chunking my time this way is the only way to stay organized. If you feel as though this is too extreme of a time chunk, select the last tab labeled data settings and you can adjust both the time of day you would like your schedule to begin at as well as the specific time interval by which your schedule is arranged. 

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*If you prefer to find a different schedule template please copy and paste the link for the website below which has tons of different templates you can choose from*

https://templates.office.com/en-us/Schedules

Other General Time Management Strategies– Other strategies that I have found that assist me in efficiently managing my time are creating small breaks for myself (you will see several scheduled during my day) as well as making sure I take time out of each day to do one thing for myself. During the week this comes in the form of exercise but on the weekend it may be volunteering or pampering myself. Please feel free to drop a comment below in the comment box with any other strategies you have used in the past or plan on using to make time management work for you!

All of that is awesome, but what about managing my time as it related to my GACHS studies? How can you help me with that?

There are several tools that can help you manage your time in Edgenuity, one of these tools is your assignment calendar which hopefully you are using because you read about how helpful it can be in my first blog post 😉. Your assignment calendar can be accessed through the organizer in your lobby. Once you are tapped into your organizer, select reports, and then select assignment calendar. The assignment calendar will let you know the minimum amount of assignments you should be completing each day and each week. If there is a green check next to an assignment this means you have already completed it 🙂 Anything that is gray means you have not completed this assignment. I have seen many students find success by writing out which assignments they need to complete each day in each course when they create their schedule.

The other time management tools/tips that I have to share with you relate directly to next week’s topic: Academic Pacing. My pacing post will provide you with the different tools you can use to make sure you maintain (or help yourself stay ahead of) pace as well as the different tools that I use to help students stay on pace!

 

The Bottom Line

Whether you schedule your day out in 30-minute increments or find it easier to keep track of things you need to do weekly, whether you write out your daily tasks in a journal, using sticky notes, or keep your tasks and appointments scheduled on your phone, it is imperative to find something that works for you. Not only will you find success in your online courses but managing your time will help you get the most out of each day.

Sources:

Featured Picture- http://shred360.com/augusta/

Abraham Lincoln Quote- http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/70-best-time-management-quotes.html

Schedule Template- https://www.smartsheet.com/free-daily-schedule-templates

Additional Templates- https://templates.office.com/en-us/Schedules


Next Week’s Post- Academic Pacing: Tools for students and the tools the GACHS Virtual Manager Uses 🙂

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Welcome!

Hello Everyone and welcome to the first ever Graduation Achievement Charter High School (GACHS) Virtual Manager blog posting! I am so excited to be able to share different tips and resources with you in order to help you be successful in your virtual studies. Each week you can expect a picture of a different place in our beautiful state. The picture for this blog post is of Atlanta, Georgia where our school is headquartered and where one of our four physical centers resides.

The very first thing I would like to do is share five tried and true tips for success that myself and our other center leaders around the state have seen students utilize and find success with. 

Success and You: 5 tips for a success as GACHS student

  1. Check your messages, every time you log into your Edgenuity portal. Not only is this the way your Edgenuity teachers communicate with you, but this is an important tool that GACHS staff use to communicate with you as well. 
  2. Use your assignment calendar provided to you in your Edgenuity portal as a frame of reference for which assignments you should at minimum be completing each day in each course. Take five minutes before you begin your work for the day and write down the assignments you should get done in all of the courses you plan to work in for the day. However, keep in mind if you are working in more than one course at a time and/or you are pushing to complete your course before the set end date, you will need to complete more work than what is listed in your assignment calendar which is why it should be used as a reference. 
  3. Communicate with your school counselor anytime you are feeling overwhelmed or have a question about your courses (see below for a counselor list). While I am your resource for all things educational and administrative, the counselors are your resource for all things personal, social, and emotional. Please send them a message anytime you have a question about your course schedule or whenever you need to speak about any personal issues you may be going through.
  4. Log in five days a week and spend at least an hour a day per course you are enrolled in working in your portal. Spending at least six hours a day in your portal if you are enrolled in six courses will ensure that you will not fall behind in your classes. You do not have to work in every class, every single day. Instead, you can choose to spend one day a week devoted to a specific course (for example Math on Monday, English on Tuesday, Science on Wednesday, etc) or you can work in a few courses each day and alternate the courses you select (for example on Monday and Wednesday you can work in Science and Social Studies and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday you can work in the remainder of your courses) , but you do need to communicate your plan with the virtual learning manager (me) so that I can communicate this to the other people who are involved in and care about your education including but not limited to your Edgenuity teachers, GACHS counselors, and Edgenuity success coach. 
  5. Ask for help if you need it! I cannot stress this point enough, but if you feel like you need help from your Edgenuity teachers,  additional tutoring or resources for a certain course, if you are wondering how to view your grades for all of the courses you have completed, or if you need to know who to contact for verification of enrollment so you can get your license, please ask for help!

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Counselor Assignment and Contact List

  • Ms. Keita Eaddie (Students Last Names A- D) Eddie@gradgeorgia.com
  • Ms. Hibbah Agha (Students Last Names E-L) Hibbah.Agha@gradgeorgia.com
  • Ms. Karla.Garfield (Students Last Names M-Ri, YCA Programs) Karla.Garfield@gradgeorgia.com
  • Ms. Alona Joseph (Students Last Name Ro-z) Alona. Joseph@gradgeorgia.com

Please relay all other counseling concerns to the department head Mr. Fredrick Willis

Fredrick.Willis@gradgeorgia.com

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Next week’s blog post will be a follow-up to the live session that streamed on Friday February 10 on our Facebook page, GACHS School Yard, from Ms. Kelsea with FEV Tutoring. If you haven’t seen the session or can’t view it before next week, we have got you covered. You will learn all you need to know about this wonderful tutoring resource.

 

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Free Personalized Tutoring, Say What!!

Featured Picture:

This week’s Georgia picture is none other than the beautiful and charming Savannah, Georgia. Savannah which is known for its beautiful Spanish moss and delicious food is also home to another one of our physical centers! This center is located close to the Oglethorpe Mall so students can hit up the food court for grub or head to the store to shop after they finish attending school for the day!

FEV TUTOR

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What is it?

FEV Tutor is a free, one-on-one tutoring service available to all of our students! 

How does it work? 

After you are signed up for FEV tutor you can log on at any time by visiting gac.fevtutor.com. You can request on-demand sessions for ANY class you are struggling in or if you know you need a little more assistance you can schedule recurring weekly sessions.

Below- please view the Live Session from FEV Tutor’s Ms. Kelsea as she goes into a deep dive of this incredible resource. Note: You will need to be a member of our Facebook group GACHS School Yard in order to view this video.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/145475405634868/permalink/723171417865261/

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Next Week’s Post: The Importance of Time Management and specific time management strategies for GACHS students.