Teaching is a busy career with many responsibilities.

The demands of the job mean managing your time effectively is essential. In 2019 one in four UK teachers reported working 60-hour weeks, and 10% usually spent some time working at weekends. With such a busy workload, being on top of time management can make it easier to complete tasks and achieve a better work-life balance. To guide you, these are our time management tips for teachers.

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What is time management?

Time management is the ability to organize your time so that you get the most out of it. Time management skills allow you to manage your workload and complete tasks on time. Effective time management makes your job easier and means you’re better equipped to support your students.

Teaching isn’t the only profession where these skills are important; good time management is valuable in virtually any career. Some key benefits of time management are:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves your reputation and professional relationships
  • It helps you to meet deadlines
  • Helps you to achieve long- and short-term goals
  • It helps you to focus
  • Improves your productivity

Time management tips

If you want to improve your time management skills, it’s helpful to know some tips. Trying these suggestions can help you manage your time and work more efficiently. These are our top time management tips for teachers.

Identify your priorities

When you’re working, it’s important to identify your priorities. You can do this at the beginning of each day or at the end of the day to plan. Knowing which tasks are most important or urgent helps you focus on the right things and balance new tasks. Identifying your priorities can also help you stay on track throughout the day.

It’s a good idea to prioritize the most urgent or significant tasks and tasks that might be time-consuming. Once you know your priorities, you can plan your workload, focusing on the most important tasks.

Split big tasks into smaller ones

A large task, for example marking many homework assignments, can be difficult to tackle. If you split the task into smaller parts, it’s often easier to manage. This might mean marking ten assignments simultaneously in between other responsibilities instead of trying to do the whole thing at once.

This tip can be helpful for any large or complex task. It’s important to decide how to divide the task and be clear about your deadlines to ensure you manage it successfully. Starting work on it promptly can also help you.

Use teaching time effectively

Time management for teachers is also about using your time in class effectively to optimize learning outcomes. It’s worth considering which tasks are the best use of time in class and which activities might be suited to homework assignments.

Repetitive tasks may be better done at home unless students need supervision or guidance while completing them. Similarly, activities that students can complete independently are appropriate when setting homework. Group projects or work that involves you engaging with the class are a more effective way to support learning during school hours.

Know how to handle distractions

Inevitably, distractions will sometimes arise in the classroom. Knowing how to handle these situations promptly and appropriately can minimize disruption and help you to manage teaching time effectively.

A good start is to remove any potential distractions from the classroom. You can also find out more about your students and understand what the potential triggers or issues could be. Knowing what these are, helps you to plan how to respond in advance.

Take breaks

Working through your lunch break might seem tempting, but taking breaks is important. While it might seem counterintuitive, taking breaks helps refresh you and makes it easier to return to work. Working without proper breaks is likely to leave you feeling stressed and fatigued.

While taking breaks applies when you’re at school, it also applies to your free time. Although working during evenings and weekends is the norm for many teachers, it’s important to give yourself time away from work to focus on your hobbies, social life, and personal relationships. Spending time with loved ones and doing things you enjoy is a great way of managing stress.

Managing your time effectively

When you have a busy workload, it can sometimes seem tough to keep up. Using these tips to help you manage your time successfully can make it easier to balance your responsibilities, meet deadlines, and work effectively as a teacher. By managing your teaching time, the time between lessons, and time away from work well, you can reduce your stress levels and become stronger as a professional.