Research on improving teacher time management
The purpose of this action research was to explore how a new teacher could manage time while teaching third grade students. The teacher decided to implement Susan and Steven Mamchak's strategies to help maximize my teaching time. She implemented two of their strategies: homework-makeup agreements, and homework collection sheets with excuse forms.
Improving time management in the classroom is a worthwhile goal. According to Frank Hawkins and Lee Klas (1997) who conducted a study of perceived stress among regular classroom teachers, "time management was found to be the highest ranking stressor, followed by Parent/Teacher Relations and Interpersonal Conflicts" (pg. 3). With teachers engaged in ongoing professional development courses, working on the overall improvement of schools, increasing parent partnerships, teaching every subject and covering the extensive curriculum while making sure every standard is met, it is no wonder teachers feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, feeling overwhelmed can cause teachers temporarily to lose their creative abilities and be less intrigued by new practices (Collinson & Cook, 2000, pg 6). Mamchak and Mamchak (1993) the authors of Teacher's Time Management Survival Kit put together a book of time management techniques aimed at saving valuable time for teachers. The purpose of this project was to implement three of these strategies in two week increments and evaluate my overall effectiveness of time management.
As new teaching styles evolve, the concept of teaching itself is also being transformed. According to Gwen Meyer, (2001) "teaching used to mean the time an adult stood in front of a group of students" (p. 3). Today's teachers are finding that teaching doesn't stop after finishing a lesson in front of a group of students. Teachers are routinely expected to attend professional development classes, engage in collective learning with colleagues and staff, work on school improvement plans, attend faculty workshops, increase parent/teacher partnerships, and be the motivators for school fund raising projects among many other things.
Teacher's time expenditure is also influenced by the increasing needs of students. As our society and environment are changing, the effects are being seen in our children. This in turn, affects the "number and types of interactions teachers must conduct with children on a daily basis" (Bacon, 1994, p 16). As teachers are excessively pushed to boost academic achievement they must also deal with a lack of essentials they used to take for granted such as attention, attendance, responsibility, and courtesy (Evans, 2002, p.3). In addition, teachers are now realizing the time constraints as special needs students are being mainstreamed in the regular education setting to improve academic performance and socialization skills in the least restrictive environment (Bacon, 1994).
Where do teachers find the time for the added duties and responsibilities? According to a report from the National Education Association's Special Committee on Time Resources, time is the key factor when considering how a teacher plans (Bacon, 1994). "Time often defines the possibilities and limitations of teachers' professional performance" (Bacon, 1994, p. 12). When teachers have more time for planning and collaborating, teachers can...