Teaching is a challenging and demanding profession, but watching students learn is also very rewarding.
One of the challenges of teaching is having enough time to teach the many expected areas of the curriculum and to address the diverse needs of the students in the class.
With the many interruptions in a day, it can be worth keeping an eye out and keeping an eye on the solid blocks of instructional time that are available. You can hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside your door during these times.
Scheduling is a complicated and complex task. However, by working with the person who organizes the schedule at your school, you can raise awareness of the need for adequate blocks of time. How long is “appropriate” for your class will depend on your age and learning intent.
It may be worth raising the issue to secure your principal’s help in scheduling retreat programs around those blocks and asking parents not to schedule medical or dental appointments at this time.
To minimize wasted time, it is important to plan for a smooth transition between lessons. Transitions are those times during the day when you move from one activity to the next. Because students work at different rates and levels, some may transition faster than others. The transition time often leaves opportunities for misbehavior and disruptions. To avoid this, it is important to make your expectations for transitions clear and establish routines for transition times:
- Provide opportunities for students to practice these routines: “When you enter, be sure to complete your ‘Checklist’ before sitting down.”
- Inform students when an activity will end: “In two minutes we will have a whole class review of this problem-solving approach.”
- Let students know what to expect in any follow-up or follow-up activities: “After lunch, we will continue to work in reading groups.”
- Make sure your lessons have a clear beginning and ending. Review the lesson objectives before the lesson begins and again at the end of the lesson.
Be clear, be close
Students achieve when they know exactly what is expected of them. Incomplete work can be the result of incomplete instructions. As a result, time is wasted. It is equally important for students to know that it is available. Always provide clear, precise and complete instructions for any task. If students ask a lot of questions about what they are supposed to do, the instructions were not clear or precise.
A useful strategy may be to ask one of the students to repeat the instructions. This not only verifies that THEY understood, but also gives other students the opportunity to hear the instructions a second time and perhaps explain them in a different way.
The amount of learning that takes place in a classroom is often related to the distance you keep from your students. You save time when it is available and you can take advantage of mini-teaching opportunities.
Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the progress of students circulating around the room and maintaining a physical presence with students. Your desk should not be a sanctuary for students.
Make the most of blocks of uninterrupted teaching time. Today’s classrooms face constant interruptions with lessons from specialized teachers, events, and interruptions in learning time. Over the course of a year, this can take up to half of the day’s potential learning time. Save the blocks of teaching time you have as GOLD! Protect them at all costs and use them to teach the most important lessons.