One day I might collate my posts relating to time management: before that time, though, I want to list a few considerations in my time management.
1) Not every teacher has systems for dealing with materials that they receive throughout the day. Moreover, rarely does any working professional have time to create systems.
Quite simply, missing notices via briefings, emails and memos is an all-too-frequent occurrence for some teachers. Either we rely upon teachers devising (somehow) their own systems for time-management, or we create persistent notifications to communicate more effectively. Alternatively, we try to communicate however we can.
Of course, there comes the issue of teachers in email-heavy schools struggling under a mountain of emails and information. In fact, there is the developing issue information overload for people full-stop, and I wonder what role an English teacher might have in terms of modelling how to manage and discern extraordinary amounts of information?
2) I am perhaps more effective than ever at dealing with larger projects. Over the years I have tried to breakdown and manage difficult projects with varying success. The ability to set notifications, and to add an increasing number, to each aspect of a project means that something that quite simply makes me want to push to one side can be faced (even if that facing means a 2-5 minute approach with a immediate rescheduling).
3) Organising a day: one aspect of schooling is that the relentlessness of the timetable. Maintaining a level of practice of which to be proud is a full-time job. If you bear in mind that we should want our teachers to have rich and fulfilling private lives, there is precious little time left to reflect on practice.
CPD is always at the end of a day. Without flexibility with this – and knowing the childcare function of schools – not much can change.
It is essential to have, as part of your time management and school routines, to have a way to indicate items that fulfil you beyond work. It is possible, when you are organised, to be somewhat wearied by the continual completion of tasks. Without the deliberate allocation or categorisation of certain tasks as something fulfils you and your values beyond the benefit to school, a certain entropy can set in.
4) Managing the collection and marking of work is not spoken about as much as is useful.
Allocating deadlines, marking times, first draft returns, and the like, suffers from not having systems for when students do not fulfil these deadlines. A minority of students (again, often suffering usually from dysfunctional and disorganised home-lives as much as anything) struggle to meet deadlines, with work attempted on the night before.
As an earnest teacher, I know that I have adjusted deadlines for these students because it is far easier to mark and return everything together. However, my system needs to be more robust. ‘Catch-up Marking’ or adjusted deadlines for these students are necessary.
What is important, though, is that the students who do complete deadlines need to receive work back in a timely manner. That is what I would as a student.