Real teachers, real stories

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The #1 question I’m asked…

“Will 40 Hour really work for ME?”

You've probably wondered the same thing. Sure, it’s helped other people. But you have a unique teaching context, personality, and life circumstances. How can you know for SURE the club is going to be applicable to YOUR needs?

I'm Angela Watson, and since 2015 when I first created this program, I've received hundreds of social media comments, messages, and emails telling me how 40 Hour has changed members’ lives.

I created this page to share teachers' stories, and answer your questions about what you can realistically expect from membership. 

As you'll see, this program is NOT about where or what you teach: it's about YOU: your mindset, habits, systems, and routines. 40 Hour is designed to help you streamline throughout your teaching career, no matter what that might look like from year to year.

–Angela Watson, Founder

Join over 48,000 teachers who have used these strategies

We've been helping K-12 teachers find a more sustainable approach to the job they love since 2015. 

40 Hour has over 700 reviews from teachers like you. Here are some of their stories:

Jake Miller

Jake refocused on best teaching practices that were affirmed & gained more family time.


Andrea

Andrea got organized & created efficient systems so she could finally work ahead.a

Johnathan

Johnathan saw kids take more ownership as he gained time for hobbies & wellness.

Lizzy Neiger

Lizzy gained 10 hours a week & feels like a better teacher, wife, and mom because she’s less stressed.

T.

T. got the support she needed to let go of perfectionism & overwhelm at her own pace.


What's the #40hourgaveme stuff I keep seeing online?

Teachers from across the United States (and beyond!) are sharing their stories on social media about what they gained from the program.

Is 40 Hour worth the money?

Can I hear the stories in teachers' own words?

Which part of 40 Hour has been the biggest game changer?

These are the top 10 resources members have mentioned as being the most impactful:

“My mindset has changed. I ask myself now, Could a student do this? Am I saying no to something I want in the future by choosing to do this right now? Can I just add this to my long-term or anytime list instead of doing it right now? It has been such a positive part of my teaching and personal life this year.”

“I used the strategy about setting ‘office hours’ with students’ parents so they know when to expect me to return messages. It was so helpful to hear that just because someone emails me at 11 pm on Friday does not mean I need to return the message right then. I’ve been amazed at how well my students’ parents like the office hours. They know when they’re going to hear back from me and that makes them feel like a priority.”

“It’s OK to change something when it’s not working. It’s OK to set boundaries around my time. It’s OK to ask for help. I’m finally starting to understand that I don’t need to be working nonstop, I just need to be working on the right things.”

“Utilizing the weekly to-do list has been by far one of the things that has had the most impact on my work/life balance. By using that list, I have been much more intentional with how I use my time. I believe using the list has helped me take a few hours off of my work week.”

“I was never very intentional about my to-do lists and how I would spend my planning period. Now I am very intentional about only giving myself a couple of things to do during that time. I am usually able to get these done in the time I have.”

“The to-do lists have been the biggest game changer for me and have helped me use my time efficiently. It also reduces my stress because once I write something down, I don’t spend mental energy holding it in my head or worrying about when it will get done.”

“My organization is vastly improved. My principal says I have improved this year in every area because of it. I’m not wasting time digging around for materials and I know where things are now.”

“Focusing on having a place for everything, and making sure those places make it easy to put materials away was something I’d never done before. I never really thought about how if something belonged on the opposite side of the room or was in the bottom tub in a stack, it would be too hard to put away, and I’d end up with cluttered piled everywhere.”

“The paper management system for the club really does work. I was overwhelmed by all the papers in my classroom, but having a 7 step system to finding a place for all of them was exactly the structure I needed.”

“I used to grade a little each night and each planning period. Of course, I still had more to do on the weekend, so using the checklist system and blocking out a period of time to focus on that frees up my mind for the rest of the week. As a ninth year teacher, I’m amazed and thankful how the materials on grading along with Angela’s ‘life coaching’ type tone of voice has helped me!!!”

“I average about 48-50 hours at work, but am bringing home less than what I was. My spring break is looking very open. I have next to no grading to do, just a few make-up work papers that were turned in at the last minute. Batching my grading helped, and so did grading stations. I try to have kids do more self-assessment instead of relying on me to tell them how they did.”

“Changing my make up work policy and homework policy helped a lot–before all the work was on me. Now it’s students’ responsibility to keep track of their work and turn it in. I am amazed at how much better they are about this when I made the system simpler and more streamlined.”

“As a high school teacher, I had never really thought about having some kind of classroom job system. It seemed like more trouble to maintain than just doing the jobs myself. But I really like having a handful of time-specific jobs that groups of students complete for me before school and during homeroom and at the end of the day. They like helping out and it frees me up to do other tasks.”

“I had a class jobs system, but the kids never remembered to do their jobs. Once I set up a more organized system and trained the kids in it, this is not a problem anymore.”“I realized I was doing everything myself in my classroom because I wanted things done MY way. It took a long time, but I learned through the club how to let kids have some responsibility for deciding how the classroom operates. Now I’m not as afraid of delegating tasks to them and have learned to make it OUR room instead of mine.”

“I used to always wait until the end of the school day to correct and enter late work into the grading database. Now, I have students self-correct it, date it, and stamp it. I enter the scores off/on all day long, when I have a minute here, or two minutes there. Since they are all random assignments, and I am only entering completion points (for the most part), the time after school is for me to grade a single assignment for a class or plan for the future.”

“I used to try to do a little bit of everything at once and would get distracted and overwhelmed. Now I really focus on batching my tasks. I try to set aside longer blocks of time to complete one task instead of just doing a little bit of a bunch of tasks. This gives me a sense of completion.”

“Figuring out how to batch similar tasks together was a game-changer for me. It really does help me work more efficiently when I can get into my flow and knock a whole bunch of stuff out. I was surprised at how I could batch tasks even in short blocks of time, if I planned that in advance and wrote it on my list.”

“I had never used an online planner before and am so glad I took the leap thanks to encouragement from the club. Being able to import the same lessons the following year so I don’t have to re-type standards, etc. 
and start from scratch really helps. I can focus on improving my lessons from year to year instead of trying to remember what I did last time.”

“I was always a day by day planner. It was so stressful because I could never take a night off, no matter how tired I was. I had assumed it would be impossible to meet my kids’ needs if I planned ahead, but Angela showed me that I can have a rough outline sketched out way in advance and that helps me stay focused on where I’m trying to get the kids to go. I think about long term goals now and plan backwards, and I never thought that would be possible for me.”

“The regular support of the weekly emails and checking in/daily reading of the Facebook posts in the 40HTW has provided me with an enormous amount of support and teaching ideas.”

“I love knowing that I have the Thursday message to look forward to, because I have come to trust that it will be an oasis of ideas, encouragement, and a sort of ‘ok-I’m-not-crazy…other-teachers-are-going-through-the-same-thing’ time.”

“I thought MY school was the only one with students who behaved a certain way or had a demanding administration, as if we were our own island, but I find that’s not the case after talking with other club members. THAT has enabled me to relax my standards a bit, prioritize better, and even push back a bit to prevent the demands from overwhelming me.”

“Setting in place how I wanted to structure my physical space and time with my students as we began our year together helped a lot. I used to set up my room in August according to what looked nice, but it’s so much more than that. I guess I couldn’t put all the pieces together in my mind until I got the July club materials.”

“Previously, I thought about what systems would be easiest for ME. But Angela taught me about being the UX Designer for my classroom and figuring out how to make the systems intuitive for kids. As a result, my students really run the classroom and don’t need near as many reminders about what to do and where things belong.”

“I was really scared to track my work hours, but I’m glad I did it. I realized how much time was slipping away without me realizing it. It became a lot easier to stay focused even though I didn’t track my hours every week.”

“Setting a target number of hours to work and then planning how to allocate them throughout the week was big for me. Knowing exactly what days I was going to be staying late or bringing work home–and knowing what hours I would be doing that–was really helpful. I stopped procrastinating on social media because I knew I only had an hour to finish my work. And then when that time was up, I could go home and relax and not feel guilty.”

How have members made time to keep up with the club?

Jump in when it’s convenient

“It’s funny because I haven’t used this club as much as I intend to, but I am very grateful to have it. I feel the support of the resources, even when I am not using them right away”

Read a few minutes at a time

“I’m just not the type to listen to a podcast. My style is to print things out, and take them with me wherever I go. I grab five minutes here and there and read and plan. I avoid reading on my phone, I just don’t like staring at my screen in public.”

Take breaks when needed

“When I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I remind myself to go back to my priorities and remember it will all be there when I’m ready for more; to do what I can for now and get excited the next layer will be waiting when I’m ready!”

Look for ONE thing to try

“There are several options but not so many they become overwhelming. I usually see one or two I really like and that feel like they’ll work for me. I usually can immediately implement one of them, or I make minimal changes to a for I create based on what I receive. I LOVE that many (most?) of the forms can be edited to be customizable to my needs and preferences.”

Create a fun ritual

“I listen to the podcast with headphones while I’m reading along on the PDF so that I can stay totally focused and not spend more time doing it – that’s the idea, right? I’ve made it a fun ritual for myself, with pjs and coffee.”

Only listen to the audio

“The audio files have been perfect! I wouldn’t read that much content on its own, but listening to it while I cook or clean or cut laminating, etc is perfect! Then I go back to the text files to get links and important tidbits! Thank you so much for doing this! It has definitely been worth my investment!”

Are there international teachers in 40 Hour?

We have members from all over the world! Though the club is designed for U.S. schools (and about 90% of our members are American), hundreds of educators have joined from other countries. Here’s a map of some of their locations from a recent cohort.


What if you're a highly experienced teacher?


"I have been teaching for 23 years, but I feel like you have re-energized me and got me out of my rut."

"As a veteran teacher, I already implement quite a few of the strategies and ideas, so it's affirming to see them presented. I skim the emails and PDF's for the most relevant info. I use the forms you've created and sent to us when relevant and sometimes use the concept in my own format. I've seen ways to tweak how I do things to be even more efficient as well as learned new ideas too."

"I thought I had figured everything out after all these years and nothing more could be done, but I am also constantly trying to improve. This information and support is keeping me going until I retire in a few years. This helps keep the positive energy flowing."

"I am going to be 50 this year and I'm not satisfied with letting my bad habits continue for the next 50. I refuse to stay stuck in ineffective workaholic ways. I refuse to continue wasting hours on less important job tasks, when lowering my standards is better for me and my family and does no harm elsewhere. I refuse to have one more year of experience that "reinvents the wheel' instead of building on prior successes - my own and that of others. I am committed to doing the research, study and work it takes to be more efficient, effective, AND happy! I feel hope and see progress every time I test and implement a new tool or more efficient process that I got from this club!!!"

What about brand new teachers--is it too much?


"I was worried it was going to be too much to handle on top of everything else I'm learning. Everything is new to me! But I didn't feel pressure at all. It was great to be able to get feedback from other people who value my time and not having to figure out everything on my own."

"I'm really glad I created these good habits from day one of teaching instead of having to figure out things on my own, or unlearning bad habits later on. Having the support of more experienced teachers in the group was a lifesaver!"

"I'm finding the club very valuable. Being a new teacher, it's comforting to know that I'm not alone in feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated, and constantly tired. The information you give has been more helpful than the credential program I went through!"

"This club has been such a blessing. I do not regret at all in joining. The resources, the support and the guidance has really helped me see how much a time management solution was neccessary for my life. I love teaching and as a first year full time teacher I put in alot of work. Now though....it seems like less spinning my wheels and more solid thought-out work."

What kinds of results do members typically get at first?

Over 400 members returned our most survey, sent 6 weeks after they join the program. They reported these results: 

85%

stated their productivity level had increased

94%

were quite or very satisfied with the program

79%

believed their effectiveness as an educator improved

98%

were likely to recommend the program

What do members say about the materials they received in 40 Hour?

The amount of materials is fantastic — I don’t yet have the time to use everything, but it’s all saved for when I’m ready to digest it.”

“The materials have the feel of a well organized book.”

“Everything I’ve seen has been wonderful, and most of it has been adaptable so that it works for me and my own personal style.”

“All the variety of ways to access the material is great. It allows me to go through the material when it’s convenient for me.”

“I really enjoy receiving the printable freebies and look through them like a kid in a candy shop. I save them, and am happy to have them for later.”

“I wouldn’t change anything with the club materials. I only check the Facebook group occasionally and skim for things that relate to me. I plan to use the Facebook group even after the year subscription is up, just for support and teaching ideas.”

“I’m all about short and sweet. Give just enough info. to be clear. Don’t be too wordy. Bulleted lists are great. For the most part, the info is presented like this. I’m a skimmer, so I try to weed through and find what’s most helpful to me personally.”

“I can’t get over how making slight mindset adjustments is impacting everything.”

“I LOVE the resources you give. When I go on TpT, it is overwhelming, so I love how you are finding resources you find valuable to the topic of the month and show us how it fits in and how to use it!”

“I’m so excited about all the resources and ideas that are offered and shared. I’m grateful for how it has allowed me to shift my thinking in different areas or at least consider other ways to do things. There are times when I read strategies that don’t really apply to my situation or aren’t really what I’m looking for, but I like that you suggest picking just one thing that would work for our own context.

“There are many ideas and it’s great to be able to have a toolbox to choose from. Sometimes I don’t have time to look through all the extra resources/templates offered, but I’m glad to be able to have them saved to access them when I have time to look through them even more. THANK YOU for all of your very hard work putting together the content and making it applicable for us!"

“It is nice bringing all the different teachers together for helping one another navigate through our shared experiences and learn from another. I also just like feeling like someone has my back and I have permission and can say no, go home, and take care of me. I was getting burned out before and I just couldn’t see making it to the end of the school year. June seemed too far off. I feel like I can make it through this year and do even better next year.

If I have a special circumstance, will 40 Hour be relevant?

Here's what members say about how the program fits their specific teaching contexts:

About 10% of our members teach internationally. They are based primarily in Canada and Australia, with a number of European countries represented, as well. If you teach outside the United States, the vast majority of club strategies WILL still be helpful for you, but of course, you'll need to be prepared to adapt the ideas more than a U.S. teacher would. You may want to check the yearlong blueprint to see which topics are covered week by week, and decide how relevant they are to you:

Teachers in the southern hemisphere will find that there are several months in which the club content comes at the wrong time (the July, August, and September materials reference creating routines for the new school year, and the June content is related to ending the school year and preparing for a summer break.) One alternative that a lot of southern hemisphere teachers have liked is our 6 week Fast Track program. It has all the most impactful strategies from the Full Year program, but all materials are released up front. The price is also lower, which should help considerably with the currency conversion expense.

Watch as Stephanie shares her experience in the program:

40 Hour is designed for K-12th grade general education teachers in the United States. We have lots of "specials" teachers in the program, including art teachers, music teachers, P.E. teachers, etc.

Listen to Xiao Ying describe her experience:


Not all of the materials will be relevant for any one person. but you don't have to use ALL the resources in order to get results, We feel confident you'll find lots of useful tips every single month. You can check out the yearlong blueprint here to see which topics are covered week by week, and decide how relevant they are to you. .

We have a refund policy in place through Sept. 15th so you can check out 3 full months of resources to see if they're a good fit.

We have many teachers of English Language Learners in our program. Watch as Catherine shares her experience:

The program is designed for K-12 general education teachers. You’re certainly welcome to join us--we have a number of special education teachers in the club who are getting amazing results!

However, we know that your teaching context has a lot of unique challenges, and there are several optional extensions in the club that would not be particularly relevant to you. Also, the club does not specifically address the types of meetings and paperwork you need to complete. You may want to check the yearlong blueprint to see which topics are covered week by week, and decide how relevant they are to you: .

We have a refund policy in place through Sept. 15th so you can check out 3 full months of resources to see if they're a good fit.

If you decide not to join, you may want to check out Special Ed Untangled. It's a program by Brandie Rosen that we affiliate for, and it's designed specifically for special education teachers.


You could join now to get ahead and be ready to start your teaching job off on the right foot when you’re hired. But if you want to implement the strategies right away in your classroom, it would be better to wait until next time to join (July 2023.)

It's really your preference. Keep in mind you’ll have access to all the resources even after your year in the program is up, so you can always go back to any materials you skipped.

It may be helpful to hear about Alyssa's experience, as she used the program as a new teacher once she was hired for the first time:

You can also listen to Rebekah's experience here:

We have a LOT of veteran teachers in the club--most members have been teaching at least 8 years, and many are quite close to retirement with 20, 25, and even 30 years of teaching experience under their belts.

These highly-experienced teachers joined because the job has changed so much from what they initially signed up for (let's face it, teaching is tremendously different now than 20 years ago!). They want to be able to roll with all the constant changes in education without working unsustainable hours, and that's exactly what the club is designed to help with.


Rosaruth can relate! Here's what happened when she joined, knowing she had an overly full plate last school year:

You might also want to hear Alana's story. She experienced a family emergency in the middle of the school year, and found herself unable to return to the classroom for much longer than expected:



Each month, we'll give you a plan for simplifying ONE aspect of your teaching, plus 3 optional extensions.

You can use as many or as few strategies as you’d like—just a few small tweaks to your mindset and daily routines in that one area will start moving the needle, so you’ll feel relief from overwhelm immediately.

Jump in and out of the resources whenever it’s convenient for you. Some teachers read over them with a cup of coffee on Saturday mornings, others listen to the audio version during their Monday morning commutes.

There’s no pressure to “do it all.” Use only the ideas and printables that seem most relevant to your teaching context.

You can always come back to anything you skipped later, as you’ll keep your access to all these materials for the rest of your teaching career (at no extra cost!)

Mimi had the same concerns--in fact, she lists 4 reasons she was almost positive the materials would be irrelevant before she joined:

Remember that our refund policy is in place through Sept. 15th, so you can check out the first 3 months of materials and see if it's a good fit for you. If not, you can all your money back.

Hannah used our program to meet her professional development goals, as determined with her administration team:


Though we don't have accreditation through any state departments of education, many of members have been able to use the editable professional learning log provided and the PD certificate we provide.

You may be able to use 40 Hour as support in meeting your personal PD goals, and we'll help you provide documentation for your principal to show that you have made progress toward those goals.

What if I don't get results or the program's not a good fit?

We're confident that 40 Hour will help you feel more prepared and less stressed during back-to-school season.

If not, send us an email by September 15th, and we'll refund your entire payment.

I'm on the fence: what made 40 Hour members finally take the leap and join?


The cost of NOT getting my workload under control was profoundly greater than the cost of learning to organize and get more intentional about separating work and life.”

I felt like I was missing out on so much in my family because I couldn’t get everything done at work. I was either bringing home hours of work each day or working an extra day each week just to get by. I want to be a part of my family again.”

“The fact that after only 10 weeks of teaching I already felt my marriage was falling apart and I wanted to quit.”

“I have taught for 15 years… and it feels like it never gets easier. I want to have a life outside of teaching.”

“I used to love teaching, but with all the current demands placed on teachers in my district I constantly doubt myself and feel as if I am never good enough. My family, my health, and my love of teaching has been negatively affected from the extra stress I have been under the last several years. I am ready to feel good again, and make time for myself and my family!!!

“I feel guilty when I work late and I feel guilty when I go home early. I want to have the freedom to spend more time with my family without feeling that I should be working.

“I am swamped by paperwork and feeling more and more overwhelmed, while feeling that my actual lesson planning time is shrinking. When I read about the club, I felt two emotions: relief that I am not alone and hope that there is help available. I figured if this helps me trim even one hour off my workweek per week, then it will be worth it!”

I'm ready! How do I get out of survival mode?

You'll be in great company in the club! Join the folks who are saying:

“I feel so much happier, balanced, less stressed, and passionate as a teacher and in my personal life because of this club.”

“Please know the club has made a difference in my personal peace of mind, my team (I’m a department lead), and my family. 40 Hour is lifting me up, challenging me, and helping me hit my stride again.”

It really does work! I feel hope and inspiration. I believe I CAN do what I need to for my students without sacrificing my marriage and my personal life.”

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