• productivity

    on “lesson planning” a meeting

    In addition to my math teaching, I also co-lead grade team meetings. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make meetings more interactive and more useful for fellow staff. I sometimes feel awkward when meetings become talking “at” staff rather than active, working time where staff are engaged. When I’m in a really good group exercise class, I sometimes think about the lesson planning that must have gone into it. In those really good group exercise classes, we’re spectators in that we are not conversing or verbally sharing ideas, but we are working our butts off. I think we’ve all had classes where we know we can…

  • productivity

    no more bag lady: the Lo & Sons OMG

    When I started teaching, I used to lug around a Precalculus teacher’s edition, a calculator, a pencil case, cell phone, wallet, keys, and folders full of grading in a North Face backpack. I often added a lunch bag and a gym bag. No wonder I was cranky…I was hauling way too much! I also looked like a high school kid with that backpack, so I upgraded to a more professional look with a black Lo & Sons OMG back in December 2011. That bag lasted through numerous work commutes, domestic travel, and international travel. This purchase helped put me on a bag diet: cutting down to one work bag + one…

  • productivity

    Self Control

    I may be tardy to the party, but I must share my love for Self Control, which blocks you from websites of your choosing for a time period of your choosing. Goodbye for now, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin.

  • productivity

    january THP recap

    How’d I do? January’s Happiness Project: Go to sleep earlier. Exercise better. Toss, restore, organize. Tackle a nagging task. Act more energetic. Go to sleep earlier – I ended up not using the cute vintage alarm clock that I bought because my fiance made some DIY adaptations to our nightstands. He added small reading lamps (not seen in the picture) and drilled holes in the sides of the nightstand so that our phone chargers could be hidden in the shallow drawers instead of being on top of the nightstands. I found that this helped me fight the temptation to look at my phone at night. I am also proud to…

  • productivity

    prioritize tasks

    Last Wednesday, I kept putting off turning my unit test (version A & version B) into computerized versions in Word. It was easy to pick out example IB exam questions and modify them by hand, but the process of writing out symbolic form for different types of compound propositions (and, or, etc) and making truth tables seemed like such a pain to me. So I kept working on other items for the following faculty meetings instead of finishing the tests first. 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Grade Team Meeting 1:15 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. Math Team Meeting 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. IB Coordinator Meeting with Generation Citizen However, I…

  • productivity

    evernote + google spreadsheet = reimbursement

    After coaching debate, advising prom, and coaching Running Club, I’ve streamlined my reimbursement documentation and submission to make it easier for me, for the Boston Debate League, our school secretary, and anyone else I might need to get reimbursements from. 1) Create Evernote notebook for your receipts. 2) For each receipt, take a photo of receipt in a note using the app on your smartphone. 3) Title Note with “Description – Date – Amount” 4) Log the receipt amounts in a Google spreadsheet 5) Link to the Evernote notebook in the Google spreadsheet 6) Share the spreadsheet. I set it so that anyone who has the link can view and…

  • productivity

    the play list

    My friend Rebecca posted this great article on Facebook the other day. I like this “play list” idea for my overarching resolution theme of: “use time meaningfully.” I have often overscheduled my calendar, even back when I used a paper planner. I wanted to fill every blank space with an activity so that I’d feel accomplished, and I didn’t realize that I should allow buffer time between activities and rest time for recharging. I still overestimate how much running or barre I can do. I schedule out a ton of workouts and then realize that I have to cancel them. “THE DARE Create a play list. Write down three activities…

  • productivity

    toss/restore/organize: the emails

    After seeing several Facebook friends posting about unroll.me, I gave it a shot. I’d already started using Scoop to gather all my subscription emails so I could have a cleaner inbox, but I ended up deleting most of them anyway (and sometimes missed important emails that got scooped). I’ve “unrolled” my main Gmail and my junk Gmail, and am now going through the newsletters that still somehow make it through to unsubscribe individually. It feels good to have a streamlined inbox!  

  • fitness,  productivity

    happiness project: it’s so hard to let go of the #FOMO

    @giseleofficial jumping on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall It being school vacation, I decided to cancel my 8:20 a.m. Pure Barre class in favor of sleeping in and making some French press coffee before the 10:40 a.m. class. Upon arrival, I ran into one of my favorite teachers at the front desk. She said “guess who you just missed?” I thought it was another Pure Barre buddy who had just left the 9:30 class, but no…it was supermodel Gisele Bundchen in the 8:20 a.m. class! I wondered immediately if it was already on Facebook (it is, posted by several lucky classgoers to the teacher’s timeline)…but it’s not like having Facebook on my…

  • productivity

    let’s knit

    Before my trip to China, Thailand, and Korea last summer, I asked my friend Josie to teach me how to knit. I wanted to She’s a self-taught knitter who can probably knit an awesome cowl during an episode of Scandal. She also teaches 8th graders, so I knew she’d have patience with me! We met at Gather Here in Cambridge to pick out some yarn and needles. I picked out some lovely pink and orange yarn and a pair of bamboo needles. We then sat down to knit at Dwelltime. Josie taught me how to cast on, then had me practice it several times while she watched and helped me correct my technique.…


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