Real stories from club members
See how other teachers have used the 40 Hour Club to create permanent change
The #1 question I’m asked about the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club…
“Will the club really work for ME?”
I’m guessing you’ve wondered the same thing. Sure, it’s helped other people. But you have a unique teaching context, personality, and set of life circumstances. How can you know for SURE the club is going to be applicable to YOUR needs?
I’ve received hundreds of Facebook messages and emails telling me how the club has changed members’ lives, plus detailed feedback given via club surveys.
This page will share members’ stories and answer your questions about what you can realistically expect from membership.
–Angela Watson, Founder
What do club members say 6 months after joining?
Can I hear the stories in their own words?
What do club members say about the resources sent each week?
- “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. I feel like it is a bonus!”
“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 “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 week and show us how it fits in and how to use it! Thanks for that!”
“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! I’m very appreciative!!!”
“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. Thanks for working hard to help us!”
How have club 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”
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!”
What kinds of results do members typically get?
We survey members six weeks after joining the club. Over 400 members who joined with the January 2017 cohort returned a survey in February. Here’s what we found:
of members choose to remain in the club beyond the initial 30 day cancellation period
of members who joined last January began saving 3+ hours/wk within their first 14 days
89% were quite or very satisfied with their investment in the club
88% were very or highly likely to recommend the club to other teachers
70% said their productivity level had increased
79% said they were achieving better work-life balance
66% said their stress level had improved
65% said their attitude toward their job had improved
60% said their effectiveness as a teacher had improved
Members experienced these results within their first 6 weeks of joining, and results increase as they continue the program. 92% of members report a reduction in unnecessary work hours & increased productivity by graduation.
Are there international teachers, too?
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.
Which productivity principles made the biggest impact?
We ask this question to members six months after joining and at the end of their year in the program. Four clear areas of improvement have emerged in these surveys:
Creating better boundaries
“It’s OK to change when it’s not working. It’s OK to set boundaries around my time. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to sing when I begin to stutter, because my voice is shaking. I learned failure is a sign that I’m trying.”
“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 LT or anytime list instead of doing it right now?” It has been such a positive part of my teaching and personal life this year. Thank you!”
No more reinventing the wheel
“I also liked what you had to say about prepping materials so that they’re effective but maybe not yet perfect. Use what you have and improve as you go.”
“Minimum viable product- this caused a peacefulness to enter my heart and mind. I tweak more as I go and if needed loopback to clarify.”
Being intentional about choices
“I joined the club with the intention of changing things up this school year; not so much of working fewer hours. Last year was exhausting for me, and I was near quitting teaching. I’m having an amazing year this year however, and I truly believe it is because of this club.”
“I had no idea how much time I was wasting on things I didn’t even want to be doing.”
Knowing I’m not alone
“I love knowing that I have the Saturday 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 demanding administration, as if we were our own island but it’s not the case after “speaking” with 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.”
Which club resource has been the biggest game changer?
40HTW List Making System
“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.”
The club’s organization and paper management systems
“The new organization of my room has made an impact, the responsibility of the students to manage particular aspects of the room, the patterns and routines established make the flow more efficient.”
“My organization is vastly improved. My principal talks about me being her best improvement. I will let her take the credit.” (LOL)
Strategies for grading & homework management
“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 much the beginning of the year materials and “life coaching” type tone of voice you have has helped me!!! You should really consider packaging this and working with colleges!!”
“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.”
Classroom jobs system
“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 correct it, date stamp it, and I enter it 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.”
Learning how to batch tasks
This word was mentioned more singularly without much detail. Just that they were using this strategy.
Planning lessons more efficiently
Teachers are using technology to get a grip on lesson planning and doing it ahead of time as well.
Bouncing ideas off other teachers in the Facebook group
“The regular support of the weekly emails and checking in daily reading the Facebook posts to the 40tw and Cornerstone for Teachers has provided me with an enormous amount of support and teaching ideas.”
The club’s system for setting up a classroom for productivity
“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.”
Tracking how I use my time & setting a target number each week
“Keeping track of my time and using Toggl has really impacted me positively. Batching tasks does make a difference and I can see that with Toggl.”
“This week’s lesson for Time Management for Students has really helped me to know how to manage my time at the foundational level. “
What if I have a special circumstance?
“Much of the conversation in the Facebook group and in the club materials is American oriented. While the majority of it is transferable to the Australia situation, some of it is not.”
“I love having teachers from all over the world in the club. It’s interesting and it feels very supportive. Thank you for starting the group.”
“My workload is different than the general ed teachers but I still have to deal with taking work home, grading, lesson planning, etc. So the basic principles of the club have helped a lot. I’ve reduced my workweek from 60 to about 45-50. I didn’t think that was possible given the IEPs I have to create and implement.”
“I have been surprised to discover how much I have in common with those who don’t teach psychology. So many of the struggles of teachers are similar. I can relate to just about every scenario shared.”
“I spend a lot of time trying to come up with engaging activities so my students really connect with the subject material, because there’s not much out there. The club has helped me not keep reinventing the wheel. I feel like I have a core base of lesson strategies I can use over and over and re-apply to different topics. I basically cut out all the experimentation and now feel like I have permission to stick with what I know works and resonates with my students.”
“I was skeptical that I’d be able to work fewer hours since I spent around 20 hours a week giving feedback on student work. But the club has reduced that to about 15 hours a week. I know I could streamline even more. I just need to take the leap and try some of the other ideas for giving feedback more efficiently.”
“The materials aren’t really geared for a specific subject area, so some of the ideas I have to adapt for science, but I always find something helpful each week.”
Is the Facebook group worth the time?
“I didn’t want to be on Facebook for privacy reasons. But Angela suggested I create an account just for the club that doesn’t have my picture or identifying info (I have a nickname instead.) That works for me. Plus when I logon, it’s ONLY for networking with club members and NOT to waste time.”
“If I see a post where someone is looking for ideas or help I enjoy responding. It’s fun to be able to help from my years of experience in teaching.”
“I love the FB group, but try to only check a few times a week, as it can get overwhelming b/c there are just TOO many ideas. :)”
“I really like the Facebook group. I get lots of great ideas and encouragement from the group.”
“I try to check in 1x per week and just look at the Best of the Club convos roundup so I know I didn’t miss anything.”
“I love the commraderie built with teachers. Through Facebook, I have connected with a teacher that lives about 80 miles from me. In my rural area, that’s like next door!”
– Check out sample materials –
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What made club members take the leap and join?
“The cost of not getting my workload under control was profoundly more 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 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 want to have a life outside of teaching.”
Ready to get out of survival mode?
“Angela’s honesty about so many teaching topics has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders! I feel so much happier, balanced, less stressed, and passionate as a teacher and in my personal life because of this club.”I hope to spread the word so others can experience what I am experiencing!”
“Please know the club has made a difference in my personal piece of mind, my team (I’m a department lead and efficiency and balance are important there too!), and my family. This club 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.”
The club will be accepting new members again this summer.
To get free time-saving tips now and be notified when you can join the club, sign up below:
To get free time-saving tips now and be notified when you can join the club, sign up below:
You WILL get results. Promise.
I’m confident that the club will help you begin the new school year feeling more organized and productive than ever before.
If you don’t get results, send me an email by August 15th, and I’ll refund your entire payment.