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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Tick Tock

I think good teachers have mastered one important skill: time management.

Without the ability tomanage the hours ina day~ learning does not take place~ and educators do not accomplish their goals. To makematters worse~ teachers have incredible demands ontheir time.Loads ofpaperwork~ emergency drills~ new remedial programs~ specials classes~ assemblies~ morning announcements~ faculty meetings--the list goes on.

I have to admit~ sometimes it drives me a littlecrazy. I have all this stuff to teach but not sufficient time to do it. The only solution is to simply get better at managing time~ making the most of each hour~ each minute. Since we can't create more time~ we have to be creative in our thinking.

The following tips have helped me make the most of each day.


I start teaching the second the first student walks in the door. I say "Hello. Good morning" then I start walking them through a word problem. Then~ when the next student enters the room~ I begin asking he or she about the problem as well. Otherwise~ if I allow students to come and do bell work~ they will waste minutes chatting with each other~ putting their backpacks away~ etc. This method sets the tone for the day~ and my students realize we are there to get things done.


I use remote controls~ and whenever possible~ have my students take tests using these fantastic devices. The software program automatically computes the students' scores~ which I can then enter into my grade book. Not only does this technology provide immediate feedback for myself and students~ but it saves a tremendous amount of time that would normally be spent grading papers.


My goal is for my class to transition between subjects within seven seconds. I make a game of it~ and assign certain students who are quick on their feet to collect papers. We also practice getting out notebooks and pencils while I time the students. An enormous amount of time can be wasted letting students chat and get up from their seats during transitions~ unless you are proactive.


A little planning does go a long way when it comes to teaching. By arriving early and thinking out your lessons on paper or the white board~ you set the stage for learning. Get all your materials ready and have them on a table in front of you. Have all your computer programs up and ready to go. This saves time that would be wasted looking for resources later in the day.

These kind of insights have really helped me save time in the classroom~ which translates to higher student achievement and more productivity. What methods do you use to save time? Please visit the Innovative Teaching group at http://community.educationworld.comcontent/tick-tock-0?gid=NTEyMQ== and share your answers.

Thank you~