Updated: Apr 10
Here we are again, sharing more time management tips for teachers! This post is part 3 of a 3-part series.
Teachers are among the most time-poor people we know. Why? Because they wear so many hats, it is near impossible to fit in all the things and do them well.
However, our hats aren’t going to change anytime soon. Moving forward, we need solutions for ways to manage our time effectively and efficiently. The ultimate aim is to keep on top of all those expectations as best you can and try and attain some sort of work-life balance.
This is the third part of our three-part series all about Time Management strategies for teachers. Not every suggestion is going to be for you. Pick and choose what you think will work best for the type of person you are, and go from there.
Now lets’ dive into our last lot of suggestions…
Reassess your systems
If you find systems, processes or routines aren’t working for you, give them a makeover. Sometimes we stick with routines that aren't serving us because we don't know how or think it will take more to implement a new way. Investing the time in changing things, might be your secret ticket to gaining some more free time later! And, if you're not sure where to start, hit up some colleagues and ask what they do.
Collaborate on ‘shareable’ tasks
Can you share the load with a grade partner? Another colleague? Teacher friend? Teaching isn’t a solo sport. A job shared is a job halved. Sharing the load is another way to work smarter and not harder, which gets a big tick from us.
Observe or ask your colleagues
This one may seem a little odd, but often the best way to learn how to do things more efficiently is to observe how others tackle tasks, particularly those that have been doing it for a long time. Is there a member of your staff who is highly efficient with their time? We bet they would be more than happy to share some of their gold nuggets to help you.
Setup templates, checklists, or systems
A lot of what we do are rinse and repeat tasks. Set up systems or templates to help you tackle these tasks in a more timely manner. Again, investing some time at the beginning can help you later on. Some examples of rinse and repeat tasks are weekly homework planning, morning prep for lessons, photocopying, replying to emails, etc.
Grab a copy of this editable checklist for FREE at the end of this post.
Make sure students are accountable
The classroom is a shared space. That means everyone that works inside it needs to be held accountable for it. Delegate jobs to your students that they can assist you with. Set up routines so they know where things belong, they can set up and pack up lessons etc. This applies to younger and older students.
Mark student work as you go
Get a pen and stamp in hand and check students learning while they are working. Providing immediate feedback to students is beneficial to their learning and will save you time later. If you are lucky enough to have other people in your classroom (specialist teachers, learning support officers, teacher’s aides, parents, university students) ask them to help you.
Record Assessment Data from Day 1
This is another tip that you will have you thanking yourself later. Take the time to record all your assessment data as you go, so when it comes to parent meetings and, in particular, report writing time, you have everything at your fingertips. We use our Teacher Assessment Book to help us keep everything together.
Have a system for emails
Unfortunately, there is no magical way to organise your emails. Different strategies suit different people. However, that being said, we have shared the two ways we like to manage our emails here.
That brings us to the end of our three-part series on time management.
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