Time Management In The Classroom

clock_big1.jpgManaging class time is important – you have a limited time with your students and they generally pay a lot to be there. Most of them are not there for a hobby or for fun but because they truly need the language for their work or life.

Planning is imperative and though I have found estimating how long something will take to be one of the more difficult parts of planning, it is essential. It’s okay if things take longer than you expected or vice versa, but you should have some idea of what you’ll do either way, and some idea of “how long is too long” or when you will just end it.

I’ve also come across the idea that teachers should do activities in class which students really can’t do outside class on their own, like speaking or listening as opposed to more time-consuming or in depth reading or writing.

While all skills are important, I think it’s not a bad idea to limit classroom activities to the more communicative ones, especially if you are pressed for time…even if it means something like writing gets glossed over in the process because students don’t do homework.

More than once I’ve skipped an exercise because it really did not seem that the end goal meritted the time spent on it. It’s not that I felt the point was useless, just that valuable class time would be better spent elsewhere. And I think this is an important skill that you develop with experience: deciding how your students’ time in class can be used most effectively and consistently devoting the time to those activities.