Time Management Tips for Teachers: A Four-Part Series

Time management is by far one of the most important aspects of being a teacher. You must realize that your time is valuable and work hard to use your time wisely in the classroom, as well as outside of the classroom as it pertains to your job. In the following posts, you will find a four-part series on time management tips for teachers. Take note of the seconds and minutes of your day that could be used more wisely and you may find that time well-spent organizing and planning will allow for more quality time spent with friends and family.

Part I: Seconds and Minutes Count
When you arrive at school, realize that your job and day have begun. You need to get down to business immediately. Don’t be unsocial, but do be disciplined. Look at your goals and priorities. If your goals are to be an outstanding teacher, to be organized, and to have time left over for your family, then work toward those goals in everything you do. Get your work—at least most of it— done during the day. The following steps will help you learn how to use every minute, indeed every second, to its full capacity. Taking these steps will enable you to use the often-wasted time for something productive.

Always remember, however, that your first priority is the students. Be skilled enough at doing little tasks while still being fully available to the students at all times. Don’t get so engrossed with a task—such as correcting spelling tests, for example—that you miss the opportunity to observe or interact with the students. If you are using the time during recess to correct tests, yet you have a student who is worried about an assignment, make sure you make time for the student. Students are your first priority!

  • Use the few minutes it takes the students to wash their hands before lunch to correct something (such as the spelling tests) or to go through your mail.
  • Use the few minutes it takes for kids to move from one class to the next to jot down notes about a student.
  • Use the time before a meeting begins to update your task list, write notes, review lesson plans, or correct papers. (Be organized enough before a meeting to gather the work to bring to the meeting.)
  • Use the time you are supervising children (if it is appropriate, such as during a video or TV program) to correct papers or review work.
  • Use the time after school when the children have left to follow up on business.
  • Use the time during recess to get something substantial completed.

Each of these “moments” adds up to a substantial amount of time that can be spent completing various important tasks throughout the day. Learn to recognize the importance of each second. Soon you will be using your time well, and you will find that at least sometimes at the end of the day you can go home with an empty school bag. Whether you are spending these little moments interacting with students, observing them, or accomplishing tasks, you will begin to appreciate the value of time.

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