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Supply Teaching – Effective Management

Effective time management skills for supply teaching in secondary schools

Supply teaching as a secondary school teacher requires excellent time management skills. Teachers constantly juggle the long-term goals of the classroom with the immediate learning needs of students, as well as with large volumes of paperwork and lesson planning. Between writing lesson plans, grading exams and actually teaching, secondary school teachers quickly realise that it’s virtually impossible to fit everything in. We’ve collated some effective time management tips to help our secondary teacher supply candidates.

Organise the day by priorities
Teacher time management must start with setting priorities and organising the day around the most important tasks outside of the classroom. Setting priorities can help keep secondary school teachers on track throughout the day, even when the unexpected occurs and the workload can seem overwhelming. Priorities are not as black and white as “putting math and English first and getting to arts projects if time avails.” This kind of thinking can lead to class burnout–for both teachers and students. Within certain contexts, an impactful art or outdoor activity can be just as stimulating as academic lesson plans.

Strategically plan homework assignments
Both secondary school teachers and students may find that assignments that require repetitive practice is better suited for the home environment. Although in-class practice helps when framing and structuring problems, repetitive practice during class may not be the best use of time. Assignments that simply ask students to complete a set number of problems for practice unnecessarily consume valuable class time.

Avoid “loaded” procrastination
Avoid piling on loads of grading assignments and try to complete batches at a time. A small pile each day is easier to manage and allows a teacher to properly evaluate the assignment and offer feedback to students. Secondary school teachers can experience a sense of accomplishment from each completed batch.

Plan for potential crises
It is better to plan ahead for potential problems before facing them in the classroom, as urgent crises can distract teachers from their goals within the classroom. Although some problems have limited options, such as natural disasters, teachers can plan around the needs of students. A crisis that relates to student behaviour is better to avoid or handle before it reaches the peak to avoid wasting class time. By learning about students before they enter the classroom, teachers can create a plan of action to avoid triggers and stop distractions early.

Set aside personal time
Supply teaching results in many tasks that require attention and often focuses on the needs of students and their parents. Although it is tempting to put more time into grading, feedback and managing student needs, it is also important to set aside personal time to keep the priorities in proper perspective. Prioritising time for personal needs is necessary to effectively implement and execute the plans for educating students. When secondary school teachers are exhausted due to lack of personal care and time, it is possible that the classroom becomes less effective and efficient. Secondary school teachers need to take measures to properly manage time for an effective classroom environment. By working through teacher time management strategies, it is possible to keep up with the educational needs of every student, manage urgent situations immediately and avoid falling behind when unexpected events occur. Time management is an important part of providing quality education and meeting the needs of every student.

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