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8 Tips Teachers Can Use for Successful Time Management

All teaching requires excellent time management skills. Teachers must balance the long-term educational goals of the classroom with the immediate needs of students. They also have to manage the huge amount of paperwork that comes along with everyday tasks. Because of this, teachers may feel overwhelmed by the tasks of writing lesson plans, grading assignments, and actually teaching.

Even though the career path of teaching may seem overwhelming due to the amount of work involved, it's possible to manage the situation and make extra personal time outside of class. 

Here are eight tips on effective time management skills teachers can implement to improve their productivity and offer a better education to their students.

1. Create a weekly prep schedule.

Time management for teachers should begin with setting priorities and organizing the day around the most critical tasks. To improve productivity, list the major tasks you do each week. This may include tasks like lesson planning, making copies, prepping materials for the week, grading assignments, and completing paperwork.

After this, assign each task to a specific day of the week. Then you won't have to juggle every major task in one afternoon. This schedule will you to make the most of your prep time and get ahead on other tasks.

2. Organize via priorities.

Once you figure out your daily tasks, prioritize them.

To prioritize effectively, rank each task of your workload based on its importance and the impact of its completion. Consider each task and determine those that can be put on hold and those that have less impact than others.

Remember, priorities aren't as simple as math is more important than art; thus, math should be done earlier in the day than art. Sometimes, an art lesson can be more impactful and stimulating than as academic lesson plan.

3. Delegate daily tasks and routines.

After prioritizing all the daily assignments and things needed to be completed, create a scheduled list so you can visualize everything. Create a schedule that you can trust that, if followed, everything will be completed in a reasonable amount of time.  This is especially important because you can also delegate tasks better this way. 

By streamlining work, writing down what you do consistently, and putting it on a schedule, you can be more focused on the tasks that must be completed, as opposed to being distracted by looking at other things.  If possible, you can also delegate tasks to teacher assistants, more capable and responsible students, or others you entrust to accurately and efficiently complete them.  

4. Set time-sensitive boundaries. 

You must set a time when you will leave work, and then actually leave.

Of course, loving your job and enjoying being there is great; however, there needs to be some boundaries set in place. Commit to a time that is the latest you will stay at work, then leave by or before that time.  This will help you accomplish your goals and make time for other commitments.

5. Strategically plan homework assignments.

Sometimes homework is a necessity.

The school day isn't always long enough to practice something multiple times. This is why homework is helpful and sometimes necessary. Although most students hate the idea of homework, repetitive practice almost always makes a difference and helps students retain information better.

Instead of dedicating an excessive amount of time to practicing in class, use class time more efficiently and assign practice assignment for students to complete at home. 

6. Avoid excessive grading.

Most teachers find it easier to divide completed assignments into smaller groups that can be graded each day, rather than trying to grade everything at once. 

Do not pile on grading assignments. Instead, focus on completing batches of work at a time. It is easier to manage a small number of assignments each day. This allows teachers to evaluate the assignment thoroughly and give feedback to students at an appropriate time.

7. Plan ahead.

It is better to prepare for possible problems before they arise in the classroom. 

Urgent crises can distract teachers and students and make it difficult to focus on classroom goals. Although some problems such as natural catastrophes are not predictable or preventable, it’s wise to prepare and plan ahead for possible disruptions, when possible. For example, by knowing your students’ personalities and implementing classroom routines, you can prevent possible classroom management issues and problems with student behavior before they escalate to the point of causing disruptions to class time. 

Teachers should learn about students and create a plan to prevent triggers and distractions before they arise in the classroom.

8. Remember to set aside personal time.

Teachers have many responsibilities and must be attentive to the needs of their students and parents. However, it is important to remember to take time for yourself to maintain a clear perspective of your priorities.

To effectively implement and execute plans to educate students, it is important to prioritize personal care. Teachers who are tired and do not take time for personal care make teaching and learning less efficient and effective. Successful teaching and learning strategies can only be implemented if teachers are energetic, healthy, and refreshed.

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