Time management skill matters

Many factors can explain why some students are doing much better than others. One of the key soft skills that good students possess is time management skill.

Good students use time smartly. They know how to allocate their time to different learning objectives so that they can learn things efficiently. They understand that it is the efficiency of learning, not the time of learning that dictates how much they learn. Different students have different best learning paces on which they can absorb new things very quickly. Good students are good at finding their own pace to learn. As an educator, we often underestimate how much we can do to help students use time smartly and help them find their own best pace. Here are some tips I have.

Educators should help students understand the importance of time management skills. Sometimes, students get frustrated when they find their test scores are still unsatisfactory even they work very hard. Teachers should then talk with them and work with them to find out the reasons behind.

Educators should encourage students share their time management skills with classmates. Student should learn from each other not just how to learn, but how to learn things quick. Ask students to analyze how they spend a single day and write the answer down. Then share with classmates and discuss with classmates the best way to improve.

Educator should create an environment in which students arrange their daily school life themselves. A Student Handbook printed or online version should be given to every student. How to add/drop courses, what is the teacher’s office or mobile number, what the penalty shall be executed if missing lectures, how to ask for a school leave? All students-related issues could be answered here. By doing so, students realize that they are the subject of learning and shall be responsible for their study. Homeroom teachers are important but should not babysit students. Students should babysit themselves.

When a new school year kicks off, teachers should inform students the term arrangement very clearly. When we have outdoor trips? When we have mid-term and final? When they have holidays and breaks? Students should have a very detailed timetable to help them make decisions. New and ad-hoc activities may be introduced occasionally, therefore a real time school calendar should be posted online so that it can be checked anywhere at anytime.

Treat students as independent men. It is both an altitude and philosophy. Do not occupy their time by arranging compulsory public lectures or other activities for them only because you think it is good for them to do so. Public lectures serves as a good way to expand students’ horizon, but students should have a say about the topics and if they do not like the topic, they can quit and do things they love. How much we respect our students determines how much our students respect each other and the community as a whole.