Proper time management strategies for teachers are essential to incorporate in life. If you are in the teaching profession, then time management is probably the most important skill to have. It is pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the tons of jobs you have in hand. The piles of marking, the never-ending lesson plans and the hips of tasks can feel like a huge burden if you don’t have the right time management skills needed for teaching.
Why is it important for teachers to have good time management skills?
Time management for preschool teachers is crucial to prioritize and optimize their daily work. First and foremost, you need to make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish in the day.
Then sort those tasks according to their urgency and importance. Now you will automatically have a clear goal, which in turn will help you to eliminate the time-wasters.
In addition to that, we are not to forget the stressful periods of time we have due to the lack of teacher time management hacks. Planning your day’s work ahead of time will significantly reduce your stress, reduce the possibilities of burnout and eliminate any impractical expectations you might have.
Applying time management in the classroom and outside of the classroom can get you more time and manage that time in a more efficient and effective manner.
What is the best way to time management?
The following time management activities for teachers can make your life easier.
#1: Make a to-do list for the next day
Try jotting down things you need to get done the next day. During a hectic day, it is pretty normal to forget some minor tasks or a certain task that you need to do can skip your mind due to other distractions.
That is why it is always recommended to note down your tasks or make a rough list of the tasks. It is in fact the perfect way to get all of that out of your mind. In addition to that, it will give you more clarity in terms of just figuring out where to start.
#2: Maintain a clear and visible schedule
Multiple studies have proven that it is indeed greatly helpful to design a visible schedule with square shaped time slots for your classroom activities.
It gives you an idea of what to prepare for or how you are going to spend the next slot of time.
Not only that, but you can also avoid any last minute rush if you have a planned schedule with distinct time slots to look at whenever required.
#3: Follow the 2-minute rule
Author David Allen has suggested a very clever and interesting time management tip for teachers in his book ‘Getting Things Done’. In the book, he says, if you have an important task in hand that would just need less than 2 minutes, then you should get the task done right now.
Because he says that you will most probably end up taking more than 2 minutes to come back later and finish this task.
You can easily apply this rule to small jobs such as replying to questions in emails, discussion forums or online groups, printing out handouts, photocopying tasks, dealing with admin requests or even washing up or attending to a tiny chore or running an errand.
#4: Practice delegation of tasks
Focus on smart work. Learn to distinguish between stuff that you have to do and stuff you can get others to help in doing. It can save a great deal of your time and energy.
It is important to acknowledge that you cannot get everything done all by yourself. Therefore, approach your teacher’s community if needed. Maybe be more open to the suggestions and opinions of your fellow teachers and colleagues to get all the jobs done within their stipulated time frame.
#5: Set timers if required
Assign specific time frames for each individual task. Identify the priority tasks and analyze how much time you need to give the tasks to reach completion. According to that set your timer and go ahead with the job. It will surely help you refocus and avoid distraction when you are mid way.
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Why is time management important in the classroom?
Time management for teachers in the classroom is crucial because it decides how effective and useful your lessons will be. There are certain things you should analyze and determine before you enter the classroom. For example, how long will a particular lesson take for the students to complete? Or how long will it take you to make a lesson plan?
#6: Communicate your goals to the students
Tell your students about how you intend to proceed and what your ultimate goal is. Along with that, set a clear objective and goal for the individual class you are going to take at the moment. Communicate where you intend to focus at the start of the class. It is even better if you write your goals on the board along with the expected time frames to complete each step of the goal.
#7: Save questions for the end of class
Hold the student questions until the end of class. Tell your students to save their questions and answer them one by one at the end of the lesson. Tell students to jot down their questions on notepads during the class so that you can address those questions one by one systematically.
#8: Come pre-prepared
Come to class pre-prepared regarding what activities you are going to do in the class. It always helps to make yourself flexible enough to either cut an activity out of your plan and shift it to the next class or fill in with a new or unplanned activity a few minutes before the class ends. This way, you will never waste your time as well as the time of your students.
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Get more tips from Kyle Thain’s video
Examples of preschool classroom management ideas
You need clear expectations, proper planning and a well-written schedule or routine before you are ready to face a classroom full of 3 year old kids. In other words, preschool classroom management is an essential component to successfully face the challenge of teaching preschool kids.
#9: Practice timely transitions
It is important to plan the transitions between activities. For example, you can use countdowns to prepare the kids to move to the next activity at the right time. It surely saves you from wasting valuable classroom time.
#10: Have action cues
Teachers can use a particular action, motion or sound to signify the start of an activity or even to direct the students to perform a certain action (for instance, closing their mouth, or turning their head towards the teacher). Having such cues and using them will help the teachers to easily get the kids to refocus and prepare.
Hope these time management tips for teachers will come in useful in planning time in and out of the classroom and making better use of our precious time. The soul of time management is always to save enough of “me-time” or the time we must spend with ourselves. Let me know if these time management strategies have been helpful to you or leave in the comments if you have any other information worth sharing.