Improving Your Teacher Time Management

Improving Your Teacher Time Management

It’s mid-morning. The bell just rang, and you just started a 45 minute prep. Should you:

A. Grade papers,

B. plan lessons,

C. make copies, or

D. go to the workroom in search of cake?

Answer- B. Plan lessons.

Where did that quick answer come from?  Check out this chart-

What your mind is capable of doing, from morning to afternoon.

What your mind is capable of doing, from morning to afternoon.

The above chart shows what happens to your brain throughout the day. The earlier it is, the better your mind works. Which is why planning lessons- the hardest to do of the 4 choices above- is what’s recommended.

The reason for the slow down is because your mind is like a cup- it can only hold so much.  So, in the mornings, when your mind is less crowded, it works better. But as the day wears on, thoughts and cares fill your “cup”, making it less effective.  And the reason for that is because of the increasing collective weight of all those thoughts and cares.

So when is it ok to grade papers? And, more importantly, when do you get cake? Try to remember this question- “What’s the most important thing I need to do right now?“. If you ask yourself this and attempt an honest answer, you’ll usually know what to do. Since grading papers normally takes less brainpower than planning, grading should usually wait. But if you’re caught up on planning and behind on grading, then sure, go ahead and grade.

Here’s a suggested method that will help collect all those thoughts in your head, and to know which is the most important that you need to act on right now.