I saw a sign the other day that proudly declared “A good teacher is a busy teacher” It left me wondering if that statement was written by a teacher…I’m still not sure. Either way the reality is that a busy teacher is not necessarily an effective teacher.
Busy teachers are not hard to find. I don’t think there is a teacher on the planet that is wondering what they can do with all their spare time! Between lesson preparation, marking of homework and assignments, discipline follow-up, staff meetings, parent follow-up, playground supervisions, extracurricular activities like school plays and sporting events the one problem that teachers have in common is their struggle to better manage their time.
- Plethora of strategies on offer (write lists, do what needs to be done before what you want to do, pay now and play later, put the big rocks in then fit in the smaller ones, then the sand then the water etc)
- Access to technology such as time management programs, to do tasks, iPhone and iPad apps that beep and hold you accountable
We still struggle to maintain a sense of control over our time.
Quite often teachers will ask me what a typical week would be for me. When I show them my schedule which includes family, teaching, business, training other teachers, the next question always is “How do you manage your time and maintain some sense of a work/life balance?”
It might sound counter intuitive but the answer to a better work-life balance is not to better manage your time but rather better manage your energy. Let me explain.