Get Control of Your Time

It's pretty obvious by now that teaching can be a 24-hours per day, seven-days per week, 12-months per year job. Control of your time starts with planning and prioritizing your list of activities each day.

Veteran teachers offer these timesaving tips:

  • If you are still using a paper grade book rather than a computer program, color-code your grade book. Choose a color for attendance, grades, projects and assignments.

  • Organize your paperwork. Categorize according to priority. Once papers are sorted, deal with them as quickly as possible.

  • Learn to delegate. Establish rotating class responsibilities to make use of the talents and skills of your students. Use your paraprofessional (if you have one) and student volunteers to assist you.

  • Write it down. You can't remember everything. Keep a list and take notes in your calendar or planner.

  • Develop a class conduct sheet so students know what is expected of them. Send a copy home to parents.

  • Post signs. Try one on your room door that says, "Do you have your book? paper? a pen or pencil?" Store-bought posters make a quick and easy room decoration.

  • File material by class or subject area. Keep a file box or folder for each class, subject area or theme.

  • Try to get your papers graded during the day or stay after school to get them graded. If it's acceptable in your district, let some of your assignments be ones that students could grade themselves during class.

  • Get absolute must-do work accomplished early in the day while you're still fresh. Avoid that frantic catch-up feeling during the day.

  • If it won't result in losing your job, your family or your life, it's okay to say no when someone asks you to do one more thing. You have a right to a life.