Teachers can have incredibly busy schedules, and staying on top of it is a necessity during the school year. That’s why we compiled this list of time management and time saving tips for teachers to help. Whether you are a first-time teacher looking to have an efficient first year of teaching, or a veteran educator looking to learn about all the new tools available, here are a few time management tips for teachers to help you take control of your busy schedule.
Let’s face it, many of us can confidently say that we are happy to be back in the classroom and no longer have the struggle of teaching online lectures, experiencing connection issues, and speaking to initials rather than faces. While “Zoom school” was definitely a challenge, to say the least, it has left educators with many additional skills that they can incorporate into the classroom now in thoughtful ways.
In order to save some time and increase efficiency, try to use technology as much as possible. This can be seen through lesson plans, calendars, or even combining Zoom presentations with your regular curriculum. Author Alexandra Barufatti highlights in her Gitnux article that “79% of educators report improvements in student achievement when technology is integrated into the classroom.” You can use technology in your classroom in many ways – here are a few of the most common ones:
When creating your lesson plans, it can be beneficial to incorporate online learning tools such as Kahoot or Quizziz. Both of these platforms are game-based learning tools. They provide your students with an opportunity to learn and practice classroom materials in a fun and competitive environment.
One great option to use when creating your calendar as a teacher is Google Calendar. This platform allows you to manage your tasks in one organized location along with the ability to share items on your agenda with your colleagues. Another bonus is that you can access this calendar at any time, on any device since it is accessed through your Google account.
Another great benefit of technology in the classroom can be shown through Zoom presentations. This can first be noted simply by providing communication to students who may not be able to attend class to keep them caught up. Additionally, you can utilize Zoom in your curriculum for guest speakers to contribute to the class.
To combat the hectic schedule of a student in multiple classes and extracurriculars, a great technological tool is Remind. Remind is a website and app that allows students to join groups for their classes or student organizations. The admin of the group is able to send reminders and messages to the participants to keep them up to date.
In terms of enrollment and student management, a highly recommended online tool is Clever. Clever is a digital learning platform that provides all different learning apps in one convenient location through the use of Single Sign On. Single Sign On allows users to access various educational sites and apps with the ease of a one-time verification.
In addition to using tools such as technology to manage your time as an educator more efficiently, it also becomes beneficial to simplify your schedule. Here are some ways to cut time in your calendar:
This can be done by first combining similar tasks together. For example, if you need to make calls, mark out a time on that digital calendar to get them all done at once. If you have errands around campus you need to accomplish, think ahead of everything you need throughout the school so you can efficiently complete those exterior tasks at one time.
In addition to grouping your tasks, you can also minimize some tasks. One example of this is not grading every paper. Ultimately, some assignments are simply able to be used as practice. It saves you time and can also be beneficial to students. If some practice assignments have no repercussions on the students’ grades, they will be more inclined to do it completely themselves, leading them to actually see what they know. You can also utilize your classroom Remind group to keep students informed if a task will be for accuracy as opposed to completion to reduce the number of times students ask you this.
As an individual, you may tend to fault yourself with the need to please people. At times, this can become harmful to you when you become overbooked. Your unnecessarily full schedules may even delay you from the tasks that you must complete. With this in mind, you should become more comfortable saying “no”.
While it is okay to at times help a colleague if you already have too many commitments, you need to clarify that. This also goes into being asked to work overtime. Simply put, if you are asked to complete tasks that you are not obligated to do, be mindful of your response. Sometimes, something is just not your job and it must be understood that you can say no.
If you are able to create this habit of maintaining your scheduling boundaries, you will reduce the likelihood of burnout and enjoy a healthier work-life balance. As an educator, you want what is best for your students and your school but you can’t let yourself fall short in the process.