Other Time Managements Skills

2Once you’ve developed a term calendar, weekly schedule, and daily schedule, there are several other strategies that will help you accomplish more and make the most effective use of your time. These include:

Prioritize your assignments. As you progress through your education, you’ll find the topics of study become more complex, the work load more demanding and the material more challenging. By the time you arrive at college, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everyting done. Start the habit of beginning your studying with the most difficult, or important, subject or task first. Tackling the hardest subjects first, while you’re still fresh and energized, will make the remainder of your studies much easier.

Find a dedicated study space. Some students will spend the first 20 minutes of their study time just looking for somewhere to study. A key to ongoing time management is to find a dedicated study space free from distractions where you can concentrate. If you want to change up your study space, that’s fine, just make sure to find a study space that works and stick with it.

Create blocks of study time. Not only should you have a dedicated study space, you should have dedicated study time–blocks of time where you focus on your studies. Blocks around 40 to 50 minutes are ideal, but may be longer or shorter based on the subject and your ability to focus. It’s okay to take study breaks during your blocks for a snack, or just to get up and walk around, but make sure to return to your studies.

Schedule activities for after your school work. One of the most difficult, yet important, elements of effective time management is to put your school work first. It’s easy to say you’ll get your school work done later, or just before you go to bed. It’s just as easy to say you’ll do it tomorrow when bedtime arrives and you no longer have the disposition or energy to get it done. Complete your school work as soon as possible. Putting off less important activities until after you complete your school work will allow you stay on track and focus on your “fun” activities without the pressure looming school work.

Use helpful resources. The old adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again, while useful for many of life’s situations, isn’t always the best philosophy when you’re strapped for time and can’t figure out your chemistry homework. As you progress through middle school, high school and then into college, it’s wise to rely on the help, expertise and knowledge of others to assist you with the learning process. Smart friends, tutors, study groups, and even the Internet, are useful resources for tackling complex subjects and making the most effective use of your time.

Join a study group. Study groups offers several advatangeous to students, least of which is the ability to cover more material faster. Working in a study group makes it possible to research and learn about various topics quickly. Each member is assigned a topic and then provides a summary to the group.

Get exercise. Eat right. Get plenty of sleep. Yeah, you’ve heard this before, but let us say it again. Get exercise, eat right and get plenty of sleep. If you’re not at your peak, you won’t be able to focus or concentrate, nor will you have the energy or stamina to get your studies completed efficiently. Going to bed an hour early, can make all the difference the next day in your ability to make the best use of your time.

Be flexible. You can’t plan for everything. Unforeseen obstacles are bound to pop up, so plan accordingly and be flexible. Just want sure to get back on track as soon as possible and maintain your monthly, weekly and daily schedule.

Tips for Learning Students’ Names

8Knowing and using students’ names helps to establish a more comfortable, less formal atmosphere in class and shows an interest in your students as individuals. In large introductory courses, TAs who learn names help to reduce the feelings of anonymity and isolation that many students experience.
Use name tents.
Ask students to write their names in large letters on both sides of a folded 5 x 8 index card and to keep this card on their desks for the first few classes.
Annotate your class roster.
When you meet the class for the first time, take a few extra seconds for each student to identify his or her most 1-2 outstanding physical features or other noticeable traits. Be sure to include ways of pronouncing names that are unfamiliar to you.
Use a seating chart for the first 2-3 classes.
Ask students to sit in the same place for a few classes to help you learn their names more quickly.
Use photos.
Take Polaroid pictures of their students individually or in small groups and ask students to write their names on the photos during the first class. Or ask students to bring a photocopy of their driver’s license or student ID photo that you can attach to a seating chart or roster.
Learn a few names at a time.
Use the time just before and after class to learn 5-10 names per class. Or invite students to your office in small groups to learn a little about them in addition to their names. Both approaches reinforce that you are interested in the concerns of individual students.
Ask students to write something about themselves.
Ask students to tell you something to make them and their names more memorable, e.g., where they are from, what they like to read or do for fun, or their long-term goals.
Ask students to introduce each other to the class.
Give students 2-3 minutes in pairs to interview each other and discover something that “no one can forget.” Go around the room asking students to introduce each other, allowing about 1 minute per pair.
Use mnemonics.
Associating a person’s name with a physical feature. Often you can relate the name (or key words with similar sounds) to something more meaningful and concrete with visual images. For example, a tall, thin student named Creighton Rosental can be visualized carrying a large crate of roses on his head.