Have you ever met a teacher who hadn’t struggled with time management, ever in their career? We are yet to meet such a phenomenon. Most of the teachers that we know keep asking for a bit more time after the end of class. They forgot to mention the homework, they haven’t finished speaking, or they left some questions unanswered.
Let’s be honest: one class gives plenty of time for them to go through all points of their lectures. Just ask the students. They feel like a class lasts for an eternity.
When the teacher manages their time properly, they will manage to cover all points, leave some time for discussion, and answer the questions they get. When the class goes smoothly and as planned, the students won’t even notice how it went. They won’t be bored!
If you’re one of those teachers struggling to compress the lecture and side activities within a class, you should consider the option of using time management software.
What Is Time Management Software?
Time management is a well-known concept. It is defined as a “process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.”
Most teachers have a general understanding of time management. They know that they have to cover an entire lecture within 50 minutes or so, depending on the schedule. They briefly go through the points that they should mention.
But do they plan how to fill in each section of the class with specific activities? We don’t often see that. It’s the kind of effective time management that different tools can help us to achieve.
This is where we get to the need to use the software. It’s a complete solution that allows teachers to create schedules, set dates, and log hours. It enables them to note absences, plan activities, and have control over each section of the class.
Some of the best options include:
- Evernote for noting down important things and keeping all notes organized
- Dropbox for quickly sharing large files with students
- Toggl for keeping track of time spent on each task and project
- Remember the Milk for noting down important things to cover throughout the lecture
- Rescue Time for controlling browsing habits during class
- Google Calendar for noting down deadlines for assignments
Now, the question is: how do you use time management software in the classroom?
We’re getting there.
Tips for Teachers: Using Time Management Software in the Classroom
- Choose Your Tool
Google Calendar is great for setting deadlines. You will probably assign research projects, essays, and other major assignments throughout the term. Mark them in the calendar, and share the dates with your students. Teach them how to use the tool, so it will give them reminders to start working on the projects ahead of time.
Then, choose a tool that helps you manage a single class. Toggl is a good one. You will set a timeframe for each task that you need to cover during the class. Then, the tool will measure the time you spend on it, so you’ll know when you should move on to the next point.
- Set Goals (Based on Priorities)
You have a few goals to cover throughout a single class:
- Teach the lecture
If you’re using slides or other technical aids, calculate the time you’ll need to set up the laptop and everything else that you need.
- Listen to your students
Did they understand everything? Do they have any questions?
- Inspire a discussion
The tool you use should remind you not to get carried away by teaching and answering questions. You should always make space for creative discussions and activities.
- Always Leave Time to Explain Homework Assignments
Professors often forget about this responsibility. They wait until the class ends, and they say: “I almost forgot: you’ll have to submit a cause-and-effect essay by next week. The theme is today’s lecture. Choose any topic associated with it.”
According to the writers at AU-AssignmentHelp.com, unclear instructions are the most common reason why students buy papers online. Professors don’t take the time to guide them through different assignments. Set up your tool to remind you about the need to explain each homework task after giving the lecture.
- Analyze Your Achievements
When you start using time management software, you won’t always achieve all goals that you set. Maybe you’ll plan to explain more points, but you’ll get carried away with one of them. Maybe the discussion among students will take its own turn, so you won’t find the time to guide them through the homework assignment.
It’s all about learning by trying. After each class, analyze your achievements. How many of the goals did you reach? If you notice that you’re repeating the pattern, it means that you’ll have to adjust the pace of your teaching.
Maybe you can skip some of the digressions and focus only on the main points. You can share materials that will get in more detail. Be realistic with your lesson plans. Follow your own pace, don’t get too ambitious, and pack your plan with as many tasks as it can take without being overwhelming to the students.
- Stay Flexible
The downside of using time management software is that you may take it too seriously. You’ll have precise tasks on your list, and you’ll start the timer to track the time you spend on each of them.
What if your students ask important questions and digress you from the flow? That should never make you nervous. The plan is just for guidance. It will make you more effective. It should never turn you into one of those rigid professors that impose boring rules.
Feel the Rhythm of Your Students
Before making a plan, you should always evaluate what your students already know. That’s where you’ll start from. If you notice that they have gaps in their knowledge, plan to cover them throughout your following lectures.
Time management software is a great thing! It will inspire you to adjust your pace, stick to the important things, and minimize digressions as much as possible.
But remember: flexibility is of key importance!