Create Successful Students by Teaching Time Management Skills

Dec 7, 2015 by

There will always be a raging debate over what is most important for students to learn in school. While math is the universal language, most kids will never need to speak it. They may go a lot further if they learn to speak English. Still others place literature at the top of the list. Everyone agrees that science is getting short-shrift from educators. But arguably, neither of those disciplines is more important than a student’s need for time management skills.

If kids were left to their own devices, they would spend all of their time doing only one or two things that they enjoyed. They might become very good at those things, even virtuosos. But a mathematics prodigy still needs to know how to tie her shoes. know history, and have a literary basis for cultural context. What students lack are time management skills. Here is how to help them gain those skills and become better students:

Teach Them How to Organize

Humans are not naturally organized creatures. Left to our own devices, we would lay things about in random locations, leave socks on the floor where they come off, and misplace our car keys every other day. Come to think of it, some of us never grow out of that condition.

As much as adults need to learn organizational skill, kids need them even more. Success in school requires high quantities of organization. Students have a variety of classes that start and end at various times throughout the day. Each of those classes have assignments that range from overnight completion to semester-long projects. Keeping up with contact information for teachers is also important.

To help kids with organization, many schools use aids such as student planners at Meridian Planners. Whether stock or customized, these types of planners can help students keep track of their schedule in a way that is approachable for kids of all ages. Whether just starting out in elementary school, or well into high school, the right organizational tool can make all the difference between success and failure.

Teach Them How to Prioritize

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a collective of states working to develop a new testing standard. In Massachusetts , Park has come under fire. Many have conflated PARCC with the Common Core. Massachusetts want everyone to know that the Common Core is not going anywhere.

The reason that is important is that the Common Core provides clear, educational priorities, something that kids lack. What is needed is a clear set of academic priorities. Teachers can help with this by informing kids about what the Common Core is, and how the studies in that particular class accomplish core goals.

Within each class, students need to be reminded about what the priorities are for that class. Teachers should not make the mistake of treating everything as if it were all of equal importance. That only confuses students. And they will not know what to study, or what to prioritize. Helping them understand and keep academic priorities in focus is key.

Be Sure to Leave Them with Time for Themselves

Perhaps the biggest mistake teachers routinely make is assuming that the only thing students should be doing is academic homework. This attitude leads teachers to assigning more homework than can be reasonably completed. It also assumes that yours is the only class that student has.

Both these assumptions are dangerously wrong. Give a child (or adult for that matter) too much work, and they are likely to do none of it, seeing it as a hopeless task. Or they may actually try to complete it, thus burning themselves out. But students have a right to free time. They are human beings that need time to recreate and indulge their imagination. There are many ways to rob a child of her childhood. Monopolizing all of her time is just one of them.

If you want better students, give them the time management tools of better organization, better priority setting, and time that belongs exclusively to them.

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