Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time management and increasing productivity in the classroom

I have never been very great with managing my time; I have always been a procrastinator.  Until this year, I would always wait until the last second to do my work.  I was always able to get away with this, but I got hit hard during the first quarter of ninth grade.  Since then I have had more and more work packed on, but I have found a few ways that work for me, and they may work for you.

Carpe Diem
"Carpe diem.  Seize the day, boys.  Make your lives extraordinary."-John Keating
This quote from Dead Poets Society really made me realize what I should be doing.  At first I thought I should do what I want, anything that I desired I would attack it with haste.  But after thinking about how I could make a real connection with my life and that quote, I decided to take the entire day for what I wanted, and what I truly desired, and left the night for the necessities.  I wait until sundown or a bit after to enter the mindset I needed to get work done, and I would be done in time to get eight hours of sleep.  Some think that this way of getting work done isn't a good idea, but it works for me, I can go to track, the gym, and hang out with friends, then I have my time for school work and other assignments.  This can be brought into the classroom by not having the students fill out worksheets in class, but take up the whole class to teach them.  Then allow the students extra worksheets and papers if they think that they really need it.  This allows the students to be given the choice of not doing unnecessary work but it still gives them a chance for help if they really need it.  

Silence is the key to speed and quality.  I have learned to do my work in a room where all I can hear is my keyboard's clicks.  Doing this makes my brain flow much easier, reading becomes faster and I actually pay attention, and I don't have distractions.  When I work in silent I get papers done in thirty minutes that would normally take more than an hour.  The only problem with working in this environment is that it is rare.  It is hard to get a silent room for even an hour, this is one of the reasons why I work in the night also, and silence is most common in early mornings or late nights.  This can be brought into most classes by allowing a thirty-minute period of time for the students to work independently or one on one with the teacher.  This gives a great workspace for the students as everyone is working and it gives them time to focus on whatever they need, studying, writing papers, reading, or doing homework.  

A Small Light In A Dark Room
"But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room."-Miep Gies 
This quote, which I heard in Freedom Writers, inspired me.  To do what I do, to get what I need done, and to do the right thing.  I was never extremely aware that people actually heard what I was saying, writing, or saw what I was doing.  That is until I do see it, for the first time I saw that people were listening to what the #bowtieboys are saying, that day was March 16, 2017 on the #G2Great chat.  That day my tweets were viewed over 16,000 times, a number I couldn't even imagine.  That night of the chat, I really felt as if I was pushed to continue, and to do what I'm doing better than ever.  You don't have to be a celebrity, millionaire, or a congress member to make change, you just have to put in the time, and work for it.  I believe that social media can be brought into the classroom in many ways, for example my English class has weekly discussion boards online and this offers a great format for person-to-person interaction online.  Doing online chats or any sort of published work can be very affective in the classroom as it shows that the students are doing it for a reason, not just for a grade.  They can show people what they believe, desire, or just care about and doing this inspires and can be intriguing as they aren’t writing about a prompt on something they don’t care about.

Freedom writers. Dir. Richard LaGravenese. Prod. Danny Devido. Paramount home entertainment, 2007. DVD.

Dead Poets Society. Dir. Peter Weir. Perf. Robin Williams. 1989. DVD. 


  1. Such a great post Dawson. I think most of us struggle with time management but we have to find whatever way works for US and you managed to do that! I especially loved your reflection on our #G2Great chat. There is no doubt in my mind that EVERY one of us can promote change if we choose to do so. I love that message so much!

  2. Very inspiring to read this with Lexie tonight as we have had many conversations about what is the best way to approach/tackle homework. She tends to work best in the mornings so we make time for last minute test reviews first thing or over breakfast and then she buddies up with a friend on the bus to review on her way to school. ��