Top 5 Time Management & Scheduling Tips for Online Teaching
As a teacher, we bet you can relate to the feeling of never having enough time in a day. Whether you’re in a public or private school, time management is always a struggle. Let’s face it, the 16-20 hours a week allotted to teaching is barely enough to scratch the surface, and still, it feels like you are working 24/7.
Between planning lessons, searching for engaging materials, creating your own resources, grading, and communicating with students, it’s no wonder teachers are constantly feeling stretched thin.
Now, with the shift to virtual learning, teachers are facing a whole new set of obstacles. From dealing with technical difficulties to keeping students engaged in an online setting, teaching remotely can be even more demanding than traditional classroom teaching.
So let’s together start finding the right tools and strategies for effective scheduling and time management in online teaching that can work for you.
Top 5 Effective Time Management & Scheduling tips for Online Teaching
Tip 1. Find an adequate e-learning platform
In his study titled “Are we prepared enough? A case study of challenges in online learning in a private higher learning institution during the Covid-19 outbreaks”, Yusuf B.N. argues that one of the keys to overcoming the difficulties of online learning is to find a suitable common platform that is user-friendly and enjoyable for both teachers and students.
By starting with a solid online platform, you can establish a foundation for effective collaboration with your students, so that it’s not mentally, physically, or technically demanding to browse the platform and start learning.
If your institution has not provided you with such, or if you teach as an independent tutor, you have a choice of online meeting scheduling apps for video conferences that you can use temporarily or on a regular basis.
We have a few quick guides for such platforms:
- Schedule a Meeting in Outlook: 5 Easy Steps to Follow
- How to Schedule a Zoom Meeting and Invite Others
- Doodle vs Calendly vs WhenIsGood | Overview
Tip 2. Set up your priorities
If you’re looking to improve your time management skills for online teaching, it’s a good idea to start with your planning tactics.
Whether you’re planning for the day or even the month ahead, it’s helpful to write down everything that needs to be done. Once you’ve got your list, you can then decide on the order in which you need to tackle these tasks.
To make things even easier, you can structure your daily to-do list by dividing tasks into categories of urgent/non-urgent and important/not-important. This can help you prioritize your tasks and ensure that you’re making the most of your time.
Tip 3. Use more student-centered activities (to make them talk and free up your time)
Undeniably, student-centered activities, like working in pairs or groups, playing games, and speaking, can help develop communication skills. They’re essential for creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment, but sometimes, they can be challenging to replicate in online lessons.
However, it’s essential to prioritize these student-oriented activities because they increase interaction time and reduce the teacher’s speaking time, which ultimately saves you time and effort.
All you have to do is demonstrate how to do the tasks, assign students to groups or pairs, and monitor their progress. You’ll see that students will be more engaged, and you’ll be able to focus on your observations, making your job much easier.
Tip 4. Encourage independent student work through lesson planning
When you’re planning your lesson, have you ever thought about what tasks your students can accomplish on their own without your guidance? It’s important to identify activities that will be effective if students do them independently even during online classes.
By planning your lessons in a way that encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning, you’ll be able to create a more engaging and interactive learning experience.
- Let students do your work. Give your students the right answers and ask them to evaluate themselves or their classmates. Don’t spend a half of your lesson on doing what your students can do.
- Trust your students. Rather than imposing thought control, give them choices. For example, to encourage more work at home and save time in class, offer 2 to 4 homework tasks and let students choose. You’ll find that many students are responsible and will choose the homework with more tasks.
- Think which tasks are best suited for in-class activities and which ones can be done outside of class. This way, you can make the most of your in-class time and ensure that your students are using their time effectively.
Tip 5. Know your productive times & focus on your energy
When it comes to building sustainable habits, there are four sources of energy that we need to keep in mind: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And it’s important to replenish each of them wisely.
As a teacher, it’s important to be aware of your own energy levels throughout the day. Knowing when you’re most productive and what tasks you can complete during those times is key. It’s also important to consider which type of energy is required for different tasks.
For example, physical energy may be needed for a more active task like leading a class discussion, while mental energy may be required for grading or lesson planning.
By understanding your own energy levels and needs, you can prioritize tasks and work in a way that maximizes your productivity and creativity.
Scheduling & Time management tips for private teaching and tutoring online
As a private teacher, you might need to do even more work since your workload also involves self-promotion, more communication, and other tasks.
Get yourself a professional online teacher presence and automate lesson booking
Don’t get lost in the emails or calls by students and parents who want to enroll in your course or have a lesson with you.
WordPress in combination with the BookingPress class appointment scheduling plugin is probably the most affordable and under-friendly solution for teachers. It allows you to add a lesson booking widget, which is fully automated based on the availability of the information you make. Allow students to self-schedule lessons with you, keep records on payments and promote your teaching brand – all with a fantastic level of automation.
Set aside personal time
As a teacher entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking on too many tasks in a day. From grading and providing feedback to managing student needs, the list of responsibilities can seem endless.
However, it’s crucial to set aside personal time to keep things in perspective. By prioritizing self-care and taking time for yourself, you can maintain your emotional and creative resources.
Analyze your data
When you become a teacher entrepreneur, it’s important to analyze your teaching, marketing, and communication activities.
One way to analyze your activities is to sketch out a mindmap or write down a bullet list of your goals and achievements. This can help you see the big picture and identify areas where you need to make changes. Another option is to use dedicated software to track your progress and analyze your data.
So don’t be afraid to take a step back and analyze your work – it’s an essential part of being a successful teacher entrepreneur.
In summary, effective scheduling and time management is key to successful online teaching. This involves proper planning, managing your energy resources, and prioritizing self-care.
By establishing a strong foundation in these areas, you can implement actionable tips directly into your lesson planning and class organization, leading to more efficient and productive teaching practices.