There are two KEYS that I have discovered to being a successful teacher. Thus far in this series, I’ve covered the first 2 steps needed in the first key….
In this article, I will outline the third and final step of creating a positive learning environment: Manage Instructional Time
Just so there are no misunderstandings, for the purpose of this article, instructional time is anytime during the day that a teacher is participating (actively or passively) in student learning. Whether you are presenting a lesson or observing as students work on assignments, this is instructional time because you are in charge of managing the time students are learning.
There are only so many hours of each day for instructional time, so you must maximize (i.e. manage well) the time you have. So how do you do this?
- Be Prepared.
- Create good lesson plans that detail exactly what will be covered in each subject and what materials you need.
- Review the plans you have made and prepare all materials that you will need (for both yourself and your students).
- Create a daily list of everything the students are to accomplish where they can easily refer to it. This can be typed and printed as a handout or written on a whiteboard/chalkboard. This list should include what will be covered for the day in each subject plus any and all homework assignments.
- Organize the Physical Learning Environment.
- Have your learning area(s) designed to maximize instruction and involvement. If students will need access to specific items or will be participating in cooperative learning, be sure to have the classroom arranged appropriately. If students will need to access additional learning materials, have them in an established place.
- Have learning stations ready and learning tools labeled.
- Develop Routines and Procedures for transitions.
- Transitions can be a time monster, so set up routines and procedures that students learn and are expected to occur during these transitions with little to no prompting from you.
- If you have created the daily list of everything to be accomplished by students each day (as I list under ‘Be Prepared’) and set this up as a routine, students who finish early will have the ability to prepare for or even move on to the next assignment or begin homework.
Managing instructional time is all about controlling everything that you can control. There will be interruptions. There will be things that happen that are unexpected. However, with preparation, organization and developed routines and procedures, you will maximize the actual time you spend teaching and the time students spend learning.
In my next article, “Keys to Successful Teaching: Part 4”, I will be revealing the 2nd Key to becoming a successful teacher!
I’ve created a download to help you manage your instructional time – Free Organization & Planning Tools! To get yours, simply complete the form below…