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Time Management Tips for Educators

Every teacher always asks for more time. These tips can bring sanity into teachers’ lives for planning, grading, communication, student behavior, and organization.

Found in: Advice & Support

Planning

  1. Create a planning routine and structure that works for you and your students. Use a specific planning process, such as “Understanding by Design,” to ensure that your lessons are aligned to the standards and include only what is meaningful and purposeful. For additional information on Understanding by Design, visit ASCD’s UBD website. For a reflection tool that will help you determine importance in your practice, visit this post.
  2. Create an organization system for keeping track of your lessons, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. Websites and apps (e.g. Pinterest, Teacher Plan) also allow you to visually see lessons and map out your lesson plans.
  3. Pull out materials that you’ll need for the next day’s lessons before you go home for the day. Or, organize the weeks’ materials in different totes so that all you need is to pull out what you need when you’re ready.

Grading

  1. Remember that not every activity is an assessment and in need of grading. Some activities serve only as tools to help students learn or solidify concepts.
  2. Use a variety of assessments in the classroom including those that don’t require paper and pencil, such as dialogue or online tools. For more ideas on different types of formative assessments, check out this blog.
  3. Quickly scan and check for understanding on formative work in the classroom. Use a simple mark (check, smiley face, etc.) to show status of “grade” or progress.

Communication

  1. Create a monthly calendar for parent communication. On a blank calendar form, write the names of your students, placing one or two per day. Each month use the schedule to send a short note home, make a phone call, or email parents to keep them updated on how their student is doing in class.
  2. Resist the urge to check email throughout the day. Instead, check 2-3 times per day (before school, during lunch/planning, and after school). During those checks, scan for critical issues and address as needed. Select one time during your day to respond to other requests.
  3. Work with your team to upload important information on Google Docs so that necessary forms are located in one place and are accessible to all.

Behavior

Have proactive measures in place to diffuse difficult situations before they happen. For a blog post on tips for proactive measures, visit this post.

Organization

Designate areas in your room for specific items such as: completed student work, work for absent students, papers to be used each day, papers that need copied, items needing lamination, etc. For more ideas on classroom organization, visit this series. For additional help with organizing resources, visit this post.


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