|
 

Time Management Tips for Teachers


Page 1 of 2

What's the number-one time management problem for most teachers? You guessed it—dealing with paperwork. That includes all the reports, tests, attendance forms, graphs, letters, memos, mail, announcements, materials, and requests that consume not only our time but our desk space as well.

Expert Opinion

One efficiency expert estimated that of all the pieces of paper that go into our filing cabinets every year, fully 95 percent of it will never come out again—or only come out to go into the trash can!

It's obvious that we're “paper packrats.” We hate to throw away anything, and we hoard paper, save paper, move paper from one place (on our desks) to another and file, catalog, and store paper until the proverbial molehill becomes an actual mountain.

Are you buried under mountains of forms? Did you finally discover a 4-week-old missing sandwich under a pile of papers? Do you spend most of your day shuffling, arranging, or filing 812x11 sheets of paper? Welcome to the club!

There are ways of gaining control over the Mt. Everest of paperwork you must deal with every day. Try these suggestions:

  • Use colored file folders to file papers. Select a different color for each subject or for each period of the day.

  • If you haven't looked at a piece of paper in more than a year, throw it away. It's not that important.

  • Business management experts coach you to handle a piece of paper only once. It's tough to follow, particularly for teachers, but try to keep it in mind the next time you stuff your briefcase with papers.

  • Use a Rolodex file for phone numbers, addresses, PINs, e-mail addresses, and other frequently used information. A Rolodex file takes up less room than a pile of papers.

  • Like most teachers, you probably have lots of books. These may be professional books, old textbooks, or resource books. If you haven't looked at a book in 2 years, donate it to your local library or community fund drive.

  • Designate 1 day every month (for example, the third Tuesday of the month) as “filing day.” Use it to file all the papers that have accumulated on your desk during the month.

  • Designate 1 day every 6 months as “purging day.” Use it to get rid of all the files and papers you haven't used in the last 12 months.

  • Use your computer as a filing system. Use your word processing program to organize frequently used forms, exams, and records.

  • Designate a special file drawer for each subject you teach. Organize it with colored files:

    • Red: Lesson plans

    • Green: Tests, quizzes, and exams

    • Blue: Handouts and worksheets

    • Yellow: Transparencies and PowerPoint disks

    • Black: Unit plans

    • Gray: Supplemental resources and websites

  • Purchase two file baskets from a local office supply store. Label one “To and from the School Office”; the other “To and from Home.” Place them on your desk, and keep the papers you typically handle moving in and out of them daily.

  • Photocopy your class roster and laminate it. Use it for multiple purposes: to record incoming homework, parent permission slips, lunch money, etc. Use a wax crayon to mark each task, and then erase it when the task is complete.

  • Many efficiency experts suggest that you establish time limits on how long you'll keep various types of paperwork. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Memos: 1 week

    • Minutes of meetings: 4 weeks

    • Letters to parents: 3 months

    • Attendance records: 1 year

    • Professional articles: 2 years

    • Lesson plans: 2 years

    • Grade books: 3 years

  • Date each piece of paper you receive. When its “expiration date” arrives, get rid of it.

  • Sort all incoming paperwork into three piles. The “A” pile gets your attention right away; the “B” pile gets your attention within the next 48 hours; and the “C” pile can wait until sometime in the future.



 Previous   1   2   Next 

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

Highlights

Teaching Racism & Discrimination in America
The issues of racism, prejudice, and discrimination have plagued the United States since it was founded, and racially motivated killings still occur with frequency today. Help your students understand the historical contexts of racism—with references on slavery, immigration, and the civil rights movement—to frame your conversation on modern instances of prejudice.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

July Calendar of Events
July is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Canada Day (7/1), Independence Day (7/4/1776), World Population Day (7/11), Bastille Day in France (7/14), National Ice Cream Day (7/19), First Moon Landing (7/20/1969), World War I Began (7/28/1914), Author J.K. Rowling's Birthday (7/31/1965). Plus, celebrate Read an Almanac Month and Recreation and Parks Month all July long!

Videos
Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, and the environment. Enjoy!


Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!

Start Trial