New teachers typically are given the tasks that veteran teachers have tired from, like sponsoring a class or coaching a team. In secondary education, new teachers also typically have an abundance of course preparations, and may even find themselves with a traveling cart instead of a classroom. These situations require time and patience, so when it becomes possible to streamline the time it takes for regular teacher duties such as discipline and lesson planning, then those extras become less of a burden. This article discusses time saving techniques related to taking attendance, discipline, writing lesson plans, and performing assessments.
Save time taking attendance
First of all, a simple seating chart not only helps teachers learn their new group of students’ names quickly, but it allows for a fast attendance process. At the beginning of class as students start settling into their seats, take note which seats are still empty. Sometimes verify out loud whether or not those students are present (sometimes they sit in the wrong seat), and mark them absent. This strategy makes taking attendance quick and simple, saving precious minutes at the beginning of class.
Save time with discipline
To save time with regard to discipline, parents and prevention are the key. Setting clear expectations and reinforcing them consistently create fewer problems in the long run. However, since students are human, they will test the boundaries. It helps to call parents before a student goes home to complain about being in trouble. It gives parents the chance to hear the professional’s side first. Also, it helps to fill in the principal if you believe he or she will be receiving a call from a parent. It gives them time to hear your side and saves time in conflict resolution. Quite often the principal calms a situation down without requiring an extra meeting.
Save time on lesson plans
University courses teach that teachers need to develop these elaborate lesson plans containing particular types of information. It is true that structured lesson plans help new teachers in training develop a flow to their lessons, but in reality they are a waste of time. If crunched for time, make a bullet-point list of the standards, pre-assessment, strategies, activities, etc. In other words, lesson plans do not need to be a final draft quality because a good teacher will reflect and improve upon it for next time anyway.
Save time assessing
Finally, to save time with assessments remember they do not all need to be graded. Formative assessments such as raising a hand or doing a homework check are valuable, quick ways to determine understanding. Another quick assessment is to require a “ticket out the door.” This involves students answering two or three questions on a scrap sheet of paper. In order to leave class they have to hand the teacher their answers as they leave. Glancing through the papers allows the teacher a quick glimpse into the class’ understanding.
Time management is certainly important as a teacher. Using some of these tips for classroom time management should help free up some other time to enjoy home life or more of the extra-curricular jobs.
Do you use any of these classroom time management techniques? What works for you? Please comment below.
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