Secondary school teaching is fast-paced at the best of times but working as a supply secondary school teacher means you have to be super efficient with your time, here are some time management tips.
Set clear goals
It’s easy to fall into the into daily routines without evaluating key learning objectives.
Plan your time
With clear goals, you set the foundation for organising yourself for the day, allocate time to assignments.
Learn to say no
Don’t feel you need to take on everything that is given to you as a secondary school teacher. Consider your priorities and how a task might or might not contribute towards your goals, it’s ok to say no.
Be smart about lesson planning
A lot of secondary school teachers complain about the amount of time they spend planning their lessons. While it’s good to plan your lessons, spending hours upon hours planning a 30-minute lesson, and then doing that day after day can really sap the life out of any teacher.
Be smart about marking
The other time-consuming activity for secondary school teachers is the marking of homework and assignments. Unfortunately, there isn’t much about marking that is enjoyable, and the best thing to do is to be smart about it.
Be smart with technology tools
There are plenty of tech tools out there that can lighten your burden. Look into using Google Forms and their add-ons to help with homework and marking. There are plenty of powerpoint templates to help with presentations for secondary school teaching.
What do you waste time on each day? Is it browsing on eBay for things you don’t need? Is it checking Facebook updates, looking at Instagram photos, or watching cute YouTube videos of cats? Or is it getting involved in unproductive chats and email chains that cause nothing but frustration?
Apply the Two-Minute Rule
In David Allen’s book ‘Getting Things Done’, he proposes applying the two-minute rule to everything we do, i.e. if it takes less than two minutes to complete, then get it done now. It would take more than two minutes if you were to come back to do it later.
I apply this rule to answering questions in emails and online groups (e.g. WhatsApp, Ning, Google groups), dealing with admin requests, photocopying/printing out handouts, and even daily household chores (e.g. taking the bin out, washing up).
Allocate time for yourself
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Allow yourself time to relax, time to exercise and time to sleep. Keep a check on your work-life balance and engage in activities that nourish your body, your mind and your soul. And remember that a happy teacher will inspire happy students.
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