I’m not a big believer or user of the many modern business English terms so prolific in our language, but time management is one concept I think is important for any person who wants to live well.
In TEFL, time management is important because there are many facets to your life: lesson planning, teaching, assignment marking, curriculum development (possibly) and some administrative work.
Of all these, I think lesson planning is the most important – without a good lesson plan you will not have a good lesson (hence the rest of it becomes a bit meaningless). Therefore, lesson planning should be the priority when arranging your schedule.
As a private teacher, I find it most effective to plan the bulk of my week’s lessons on one day (the one day I don’t have any teaching duties). This makes my entire week organized and planned in advance. I can feel confident and ready.
- With time management
Teaching duties are probably not under your control, so your other duties have to fit around this. If you have regular teaching hours, then you can plan in advance at what times your other duties will be taken care of. If your teaching schedule is more erratic, then you may need to be more flexible. Having a well arranged ‘to do’ list will help you keep on top of things in this situation.
Assignment/homework/essay marking should be predictable. The income of marking work is schedules, so set aside specific time to deal with this work.
A key point in time management is being well organized. This includes both forwards and backwards planning. You should keep accurate records of lesson plans, materials and finances – lesson plans invariably come in handy again at a later date so having a filing system will keep things available to you. A list of prioritized tasks will help you to plan for what is to come, whether it is teaching duties, a staff party, or washing your whites.
If you don’t you might end up like me
- Without time management
I have to confess to being an occasional slacker when it comes to time management. I can lose track of workloads and then find myself snowed under when I least expect it – I have a penchant for daydreaming which doesn’t help things either. Experience has taught me that as a teacher who has responsibilities to deliver first rate lessons time management is not just important but vital to success.
So get out your diaries and get planning.