“Either run the day or the day runs you.” Success quotes like this one from American entrepreneur Jim Rohn and many others often remind us about the importance of time management in life. Teaching, in particular, is a job that requires impeccable time management skills. An educator needs to achieve a balance between the long-term objectives, the short-term goals, and the immediate teaching needs of the students along with managing a ton of paperwork in the form of tests, assignments, and other activities. Between maintaining an attendance register, making lesson plans, preparing lessons, study material, and actually teaching in the classroom, it often feels impossible as an educator to accomplish everything in the assigned time frame.
Furthermore, as more and more classrooms shift to online mode owing to the increase in demand for remote learning, time management will become a particularly critical factor for educators in days to come. Working from home can blur the boundary between your work and leisure time, and it may lead to inefficiency and wastage of a lot of time without you even realizing it. In order to assist you in effectively managing your time as a teacher, we have compiled a list of things you can incorporate into your teaching philosophy. So, without further ado, let us take a look at a few ways of effective time management for teachers.
Get your priorities straight
The list of tasks a teacher is required to do on a daily basis can be daunting. What you can do though is, diligently working towards maintaining a priority list of the tasks assigned to you. The simplest and perhaps the most effective way of maintaining a priority list is by assigning priorities to various tasks by taking into account two factors, importance, and urgency. If a task is both important and urgent, give it a top priority. The tasks which are urgent and not that important can be delegated to someone else, like a friend or family member. The tasks which are important but not urgent can be put on the back burner and lastly, the non-urgent and non-important tasks can be skipped if you have a considerable paucity of time or are not feeling up to it.
Plan Student Assignments Thoughtfully
Use class time only for practice of new problems or exercises which have learning value for the students. The assignments which only are intended for students’ practice often consist of repetitive questions which are better left to be done as part of homework assignments. Therefore, you must carefully plan students’ class and home assignments such that the bulk of repetitive and practice-based assignments are given to them as part of homework to save class time which can be better utilized by teaching them newer concepts and their applications.
Divide Your Workload
It is easier to manage and more efficient to divide your workload into small chunks. For instance, instead of grading the assignments of the whole class in a single sitting, you can divide the assignments into, say, batches of ten and evaluate one batch per day. This way, you not only manage your time better and reduce your daily burden of workload, but it also helps you in evaluating the assignments with more clarity and efficiency. In other words, this allows you to get better at giving student feedback.
Plan Ahead for Potential Setbacks
As a teacher, we need to be in control, especially in the classroom. In this bid, you need to plan ahead for any crisis which might befall on you while teaching. For instance, any crisis related to unruly student behavior should be avoided or handled well in advance before it creates any major distraction in the classroom.
Respect your personal time
A teacher has many roles and at times it might be alluring to devote more time towards your teaching tasks such as grading assignments, preparing lesson plans and likewise, so much so that at times you might be tempted to take time off from your personal time for this purpose. It is however, neither beneficial for the teachers nor their students in the long run as you have to be mentally ready and enthusiastic in order to effectively carry out your teaching role and not taking ample time off to recharge your batteries might seriously hamper your performance even to the point of an implosion.
Therefore, it is evident that time management is an important skill that teachers need to possess, especially today, more than ever before. Whether you are teaching in a traditional offline classroom or a mobile teacher app, the tips mentioned in this article will certainly help you in becoming more effective at time management as an educator as well as an individual.