Teachers and teaching assistants seem to never run out of things to get done in the classroom and often, they complain that they simply do not have enough time to accomplish them. Unfortunately, they do not have a choice as to how many hours they have to teach a subject each week. Classroom time management takes into account the fact that classroom times are limited and helps teachers accomplish as much as they can realistically.
The fundamental principles of classroom time management is similar to any work environment. The teacher needs to define his or her class objectives and focus on these to make sure that no time is wasted. When goals are not clear, discussions and activities are likely to lose direction.
An important step in classroom time management is to establish the activities for the day and identify which to prioritize to make sure that key topics are covered first. When allotting time for tasks and exercises, give some allowance for miscellaneous things that also take up time like explaining instructions, answering students questions, setting up equipment and etcetera.
When planning your lessons, make sure to review your material thoroughly and do the exercises and problem sets to find out potential problems and causes of delay. Allow more time for complex or difficult concepts and exercises. Expect to answer more questions from students.
Remember that even with good classroom time management, there will be times when you will not accomplish what you have set out to do because a classroom is a dynamic environment and sometimes it is important to let the natural flow of a discussion or activity take over your plans if it means cultivating student participation. Always be ready to modify your lesson plans on demand.
Classroom time management is not just about meeting daily class objectives. Do not forget the bigger picture. You are teaching a course and not just a one-day or one-week class so make sure to take into account your learning objectives for the entire course as you plan your lessons and your schedule
As final classroom time management tips, make sure to tell you students what are your objectives for the day in class, what activities or exercises you have set out to do and the amount of time you have allotted for each activity. You can prepare an outline of this information and have it projected onto the board. Ensure you are finishing activities as you have scheduled by keeping an eye on the time. After class, evaluate how each class went and make changes if necessary for the coming week.
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