Time Management in the Classroom

We have two hundred five (205) days for the school year. If the average teaching-learning hours is six (6) hours per day then we have one thousand two hundred thirty (1230) hours for the entire school year. These are inclusive of hours and days devoted to four periodic tests. These hours will ‘be more than enough to master basic competencies. The problem is that not all these hours are used for instruction. Many hours for instruction are robbed of every student for several reasons. One big reason is disruption of instruction due to disciplinary problems, interruptions due to announcements, administrative tasks such as checking attendance, hardware not working like an OHP with busted bulb, brownout when you are scheduled for film viewing, etcetera, etcetera. What can we do to minimize the time spent on discipline problems in order to maximize the academic time for instruction’ and make students spend time on their academic task?

Here are some research-based effective techniques:

  • Orchestrate smooth classroom transitions.
  • Remain involved with the students during the entire class period allowing for no idle time.
  • Use fillers, in case you finish the lesson ahead of time. Examples of fillers are reciting a favorite stanza then letting others explain the meaning or conducting a short contest about the lesson. Puzzles can be given for the fast students to work on while the rest of the class continue their academic task.
  • Use planning or pacing material such as a copy of the scope and sequence of the subject or a calendar for long-term, weekly, and daily planning. These serve as a visual reminder for both the teacher and student on what comes next.
  • Use a common place to keep materials such as scissors, school supplies. This saves time. You have not to look for them when you need them.
  • Follow a consistent schedule and maintain the procedures and routines established at the beginning of the year.
  • Handle administrative tasks quickly and efficiently.
  • Prepare materials in advance.
  • Make clear and smooth transitions.
  • Limit disruptions and interruptions through appropriate behavioral management technique. (James H. Stronge, 2002)

For quality output within an allotted period, here are some suggestions:

  1. Schedule all activities with corresponding time allotment way ahead of time. Early preparations could avoid haste and confusion.
  2. Provide enough time for everything you expect to happen.
  3. Avoid rushing since you know you have carefully allotted the required time for every activity. Quality may suffer.
  4. Anticipate difficulties or failure of some operations in order to be able to pursue alternative actions.
  5. Be flexible with time assignments. If students are observed to be so interested and eager to continue working, allow a little more time for them to complete and achieve the objectives with satisfaction.
  6. Set the example by showing that you are time conscious. They will develop the same precision regarding time utilization.