How to Get the Most Out of Your Planning Sessions

All too often, I see O&M teachers who once had a zest for their job get caught up in the “Not enough” story that we can start to tell ourselves. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough resources.


Where we once felt an abundance of life-giving energy, we now see it all as a sea of hardened concrete.


I know some people who don’t even attend conferences any more because they tell themselves that there is nothing more to learn. They don’t have enough time to implement their new ideas, so they don’t even bother.


Check out this video where I explained where most O&Mers get stuck and how to get out of the O&M rut.


My challenge to you today is to flip that switch. What if what we have IS enough. What if we can make miracles happen with what we do have?


For years, my planning periods were split into two 15 minute sessions in any given day. Now, I’m not paid for any planning time. It is all on me.


This is how I make the most of my planning periods, and how you can too:

  1. Brain Dump. At the beginning of every week, do a brain dump. Write down everything you have to do for the foreseeable future. Make this one list. One life, one list. Write down all of your upcoming IEP meetings, your client needs, your child’s dentist appointment, your taxes.. Everything. Break them down in to 10 minute tasks if you can. For example, 1. Gather tactile map supplies. 2. Tactile map layout. 3. Glue tactile map. Do this part with pen and paper if you can. If not, just a note in your phone will be fine.

  2. If you want to take an extra step here, you can separate them in either:

    1. TODAY, UPCOMING, and LATER; or

    2. I. Important and Urgent, II. Urgent, but not Important, III. Important, but not Urgent, IV. Not Important and Not Urgent (from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

  3. Choose 3 things to get accomplished this week. ONLY 3. Choose the most urgent and important at first, then move on to the upcoming or important but not urgent items.

  4. Every day, start at least one item on your list. Aim to accomplish it.


By being prepared for your planning sessions, you will cut out a lot of wasted time trying to figure out what to do with your planning session.


Then, you can start to see your way out of the O&M Rut, and be able to fit in time for other things.


Like data.


Just kidding. Like study groups, obviously. If you are ready to leave that O&M Rut behind and use your newly acquired time to help your students become better travelers, you are more than welcome to join the O&M Study Groups this fall.


In the study groups, we will meet 4 times over the course of the semester in live, interactive webinars. Each webinar topic will give you specific strategies to use with your students.


There are two study groups to choose from. Head over to the website to see if you would prefer to join the MIVI study group or the technology study group!


Registration for the study groups opens next week!