Why is it so important for teachers to have good time management skills? | Science in the City

Dec 13, 2019

Why is it so important for teachers to have good time management skills?

Why is it so important for teachers to have good time management skills? 

I'm sure you already know some reasons, but I'm going to go a little bit different direction. It's extremely important for teachers to have good time management skills in order to protect their boundaries their own health and their families. Just today, another teacher said to me “you’ve got to find time to play, or this job will drive you crazy.” 

Manage your time so it doesn't manage you

In other words, manage your time, so it doesn’t manage you! 

One of the drawbacks of teaching is that the job is never done. There's always more you could be doing, so it's important to manage your time and manage your boundaries. You have to make sure that teaching and teaching-related tasks don't take over your life.  So, when I say manage your time, yes, I mean productivity tips and working efficiently, but I also mean that it's important to manage when you're going to work, how much time do you have to allow for work?  What tasks do you have to complete? And how are going to fit those tasks into that window of time?

Grading

For example, think about the amount of time that you are willing to spend on grading, in order to have some balance with your own life.  Don't assign more than you can read.  Set up the assignment in a way that will be easier to grade, such as making a rubric, have some peer review first, or grade only a portion of the questions.

Lesson Planning

Lesson planning….Yes, there are perfect ideal lesson plans that are engaging and inquiry-based and project-based, but it has to be a balance! It's okay to do some packaged lesson plans.  Maybe not every day, but sometimes it’s totally fine.  Sometimes you and the students both need an easier day!  Choose carefully about where decide to spend your time.  Make sure you are spending time on the things that are really valuable to you and your students.  There may be things that you are good at, or you enjoy doing, but and they won't really have a benefit to your students.  If you are doing them for fun, that’s ok, but don’t get confused between the two. Do you see a difference because of the work you put in on that task?  Is it a good use of your time?  For example, it's very easy to get sucked into formatting documents, changing weights of assignments and adjusting the layout on the page, but those are probably not an efficient use of your time.

A different mindset

Think of it this way.  If you worked at an office job, in many cases your boss would manage your time for you. They want you to be accountable for the time that you're at the office and they allow you a certain number of hours off.  They may even have billable time for certain projects, and a budget or limit of hours for those projects.  Teaching is a little bit different. You have to manage your own time. You are (in a way) Your Own Boss. So manage it accordingly!  Be the boss of your time1 Make sure that the time you're spending on the right things and would be reasonable if you were accountable to someone.

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