By Teachers, For Teachers
If you want any kind of social life outside of the classroom, then it’s essential that you know how to use classroom management to prioritize your teaching tasks. This means that you need to have the ability to sort the most important tasks from the least important ones. Learning how to use classroom management to prioritize your school-related tasks will not only help to free up some of your time so you can have a social life, but it’ll also help you learn how to be more efficient. Here are a few teacher-tested classroom management tips to help gain more time outside of school.
When it comes to prioritizing, you need to realize that not all tasks will carry the same weight as others. This means that not all of your teacher-related tasks are as equally important as the others. Take a step back and look at all of the things that you need to get done. Then you can determine which tasks are essential and need to get done right away, and which tasks can sit on the back burner and wait to be completed or can be done by someone else.
While every task to you may seem as if it needs your attention right away, it more than likely doesn’t. Remember, you are in control of your own time and you can control when you want to get things done. If you are in the middle of completing a task and someone asks you to do something for them, you can simply stop and ask yourself if it needs you attention right away or if it can wait until you’re finished. Oftentimes students will need your attention right away because they’re so impatient you may feel like you need to drop everything that you are doing to attend to them at that moment. However, you do not have to and should stop and rank the importance of the task in your head.
Create an ongoing list of your tasks ranked by importance. You can easily create a list by folding your paper in half and on the left hand side of the paper right down “Important” and on the right had side of the paper write down “Can Wait.”
There will always be that one thing that you MUST do right away. Your goal is to figure out what that one thing is, and each morning when you come to school and get it done first. If you get this task done first, it will make all of the other tasks on your list seem not as important, not to mention it’ll make you feel better knowing that you have completed something important.
You can increase your efficiency by grouping tasks together. For example, if your students just handed in their spelling tests, you can grade all of them together at once, not just a few here and there whenever have time throughout your day. The best way to increase your efficiency is to set aside specific times during your school day to just focus on specific tasks one at a time. For example, after lunch, if your students go to art or gym or computer lab each day, the first thing that you can do during this time is to grade papers, answer emails, or create a lesson. When that task is completed, you move on to your next task and complete that. This is an efficient way to check off the items on your to-do list.
Remember, you are in control of your own actions, so if you want to ensure that your tasks are getting done at school so you can have a social life at home, then you must finish them at school. This means that if you’re interrupted while completing a task, you have the ability to tell the person to “Wait a minute” so you can finish what you’re doing. You’re not being rude, you’re just being efficient.
Do you have any classroom management tips on how you prioritize your teaching tasks? Please share your best teaching strategies in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.