Time management for teachers
Summer break is just around the corner for students and teachers around the country. After our popular article on time management skills for students, we thought we’d take this time to share some practical time management tips for teachers we’ve learnt from many of our Priority Matrix customers who work in the education sector.
Organize your organizing! The majority of an educator’s day is broken up into structured blocks of time – either in class, or planning and organizing future classes. If you have 20 minutes of time between classes, you want to ensure you use this time effectively. You can do so by being proactive and organized (planning ahead), rather than reactive (noticing you have spare time then deciding what to do with it). Start by:
Setting daily priorities – all tasks aren’t created equal. Some will have greater educational impact, others you have to complete for administrative or upkeep reasons and may be time sensitive. It’s important to set aside time for planning longer term projects in your daily routine so you’re not focusing solely on the urgent tasks, and give due weight to those that are important to you and your students in the long-run.
Use colors – Once you’ve set your priorities, color-coding them can be a powerful memory trigger. Using pictures or icons can convey still more meaning about the details of a task in the blink of an eye.
Collaborate – Sometimes tasks on your list may sound familiar – didn’t a colleague work on something similar last year? Ask around to avoid duplicating work and incorporate a broader base of expertise into your planning. Try using Priority Matrix Team to delegate tasks the next time you’re rolling out a parents’ night at school.
Minimize paper – Many teachers out there continue to use paper planners to organize their weekly activities. The problem with paper is that it piles up, making it hard to find what you’re looking for. A teacher told us last week that Priority Matrix saved her “1-2 hours of wasted time per day” since she could filter (for Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Mac) to find the relevant project she wanted to work on immediately instead of spending ten minutes, multiple times per day, shuffling through paper.
Are you a teacher or coach? Have you picked up any good tips on time management for teachers? Share them here.