5 Time Management Hacks Every New Teacher Must Know
I think about new teachers often, because I remember how exciting and difficult that first year was.
It's a year I'm grateful for because I learned so much... but while I was in it, it felt really hard. The burnout struggle was already happening because I didn't know how to manage all the things!!!
Between lesson planning, activity prep, grading, and a myriad of other things, it can be difficult to stay on task or get all the things done during your limited prep time.
This blog post is basically what I would say if I could go back in time and share time management tips that would help me avoid being insanely stressed out.
So here are five efficient time management tips that new teachers can use to help make the most of their day:
Know Your Routines + Procedures
Developing routines and procedures to follow will save you time (and sanity) in the long term. Nothing is too small to have a plan for! Seriously, nothing.
Knowing how you want your kids to get their pencils sharpened is more important than you know. I recommend opening up a google doc and typing it ALL out. Literally, every detail of every procedure you might come across in your classroom.
This will save you so much time and, bonus, it will help your classroom management!
Set Up a Teacher Planner
But don't just have any teacher planner... make sure it's one you love with the necessary forms.
Having everything you need on hand will save you time because you won't need to go searching for or creating a form when you realize you need it later. Here are some must-haves for your teacher planner:
- Class List
- Student Health Concerns
- Parent Contact Information
- Weekly To-Do lists/planning pages
- A section to store your lesson plans (I recommend typing and printing them)
- Notes section
- Data Section to store any necessary testing data or observations
Set Up a Schedule
This one is SUPER important. Like, you have to do this. Ok?! My biggest time management pitfall was trying to do all the things on my to-do list every day. Yikes. Just don't do that. Instead, schedule out your to-dos throughout the week! Scheduling in advance can also help reduce stress and give you peace of mind that you've thoughtfully allocated time for all of your tasks.
And if you want help scheduling out your tasks, check out my mini-training: Prep Time Makeover! I'll walk you through exactly how to do this in 5 easy steps.
Shut Your Door
One of the most effective ways to improve time management and focus is to shut your classroom door to minimize distractions. I used to feel like I had to keep my door open so my colleagues could come in. I didn't want to be unfriendly! But now I know that shutting my door during my prep is really me valuing my time, and I'm grateful to have a team of teachers that understands that! OF COURSE, if someone needs something, we open our doors to each other, but for the most part... keep your door closed during prep times so you can focus!
Ask for Help or Delegate Tasks
Asking for help or delegating tasks isn't s a sign of weakness. Learning to delegate to parents, volunteers, or paraprofessionals enables you to free up valuable time while allowing others to get involved in the classroom. You're not in this alone. There's a world of teachers out there - in your building, in your district, and on social media. They're willing to help because they've been in your shoes. If you're struggling with something, just ask for help! It will save you lots of time later.
Related Blog Posts and Podcast Episodes:
- 3 Simple Steps to Managing Your Limited Prep Time
- Why Teacher Time Management Is So Important
- The Teacher Time Podcast Episode 86: 5 Essential Time Management Tips for Busy Elementary Teachers
I hope these tips help you start your teaching career off on the right foot! If you're looking for more guidance, I put together a quick guide with 3 things you can do TODAY that will instantly help your time management!
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