Use the time – and don’t let it drive you
The day is almost over and all the work is far from over; the lesson has far too few minutes again; The month is already coming to an end and there is still far too much to do! Although we should have learned to deal with time, we still fall for its pitfalls again and again.
Our advice for more organization and relaxation
And why? Simply because we miscalculate, misjudge the effort required for preparations, get stuck on unimportant things and leave the important ones behind. These five tips from the “Effective Self-Management” guide will help you deal with time skilfully. Advice, which, by the way, is useful not only for teachers, but also for students.
- Work log
You can counteract the feeling of having absolutely no time by being more conscious of your time. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just what about the implementation? A proven recipe is the work log:
It is helpful for both students and teachers to get an overview of what time is being spent on each day. If you log this consistently over a week, you’ll find that you’re actually often spending too much time on unimportant things and too little time on really important things. Simply create a table in which you enter the days horizontally and the times vertically. Then assign a colour to each activity. Blue: food and personal hygiene, yellow: driving times, red: lessons, orange: breaks, green: communication (analogue and digital), brown: corrections and lesson preparations, pink: free time, television, sports, recreation and the like. Of course, just writing it down is of no use, you have to take the consequences and change your behaviour. But it is only by writing them down that you become aware of your own time wasting. Incidentally, this also applies to students who claim that they do not have time for homework, repetition or exercises. All you have to do is look at a table like this to see how much time you spend in front of the TV, on YouTube or Facebook.
- Plan clearly
Let’s stay with the timing and organization: school year planning is necessary and useful. But when you look at the big picture, you sometimes lose track of the details. It is helpful to create additional smaller units, for example monthly plans. In this way, the year is divided into smaller units that are easier to manage. A practical side effect: If you collect monthly overviews, it will be much easier for you to prepare for lessons in the next school year and the one after that.
- Orientation for all
It is best to create a monthly plan for each class. You can not only use this plan for your own work, but also give parents and students orientation if you post this overview in the classroom.
- Keep track of time
And then the 45-minute cycle! It is important not only to keep an eye on the punctual start and end of the lesson, but also the time in between, the time management during the lesson. The tried and tested can help here: the clock. Wear a watch to class, or if you’re a notorious anti-watchman, make sure all your classrooms have a clock. If possible, a radio-controlled clock so that you have no problems setting or changing the clock – for example to summer or winter time.
Students can also learn time management. Assign work orders with fixed time specifications and make sure that these are also adhered to. For example: “From 10:05 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. you will practice in pairs the accented recitation of the poem. At 10:20 a.m. you get the next work order from file box A and work on it by 10:40 a.m. You give me your results at 10.40 a.m., I evaluate them and then you have a break.” This requires good planning and experience in dealing with lesson time, but with a little practice it is easy to do.
- Finish the lesson on time
There are always reasons not to come to the end of the lesson on time: The lesson often had to be interrupted due to disturbances, the lesson couldn’t start on time because the students had to get their work materials ready first, or, or… But it’s punctual for at least one reason Important at the end of a lesson: teachers and students need a break before the next lesson! So try to end the lesson on time by ringing in the final phase two or three minutes before the end of the lesson (you now have a wristwatch or a wall clock!): Have things packed up, make entries in the class register, make closing announcements. Then you can close your briefcase with the ring of the bell and the break can start on time for everyone.
Just give it a try. You’ll be amazed at the beneficial effects a little time management can have. And if you are looking for other good ideas for everyday school and work: In addition to these five tips, the two authors list 94 more tips for effective self-management.
Self and time management for teachers
In everyday life, every teacher takes on different tasks – often committed and full of energy. Sometimes, however, everything gets overwhelming. Then the professional plans and requirements cause stress and personal desires take a back seat. In this training course you will learn how to deal professionally with a multitude of tasks and time pressure.