Time management can be defined as the management of time that enables someone to make the most out of it. Time management is a very important factor that helps a student achieve success as an independent learner (Macleod-Brudenell et al, 2004). As a student I am responsible for organizing most of my study time. When there are other commitments such as friends, family and work, this can be challenging. To enable myself to manage my time well, it is important to be aware of my own time management and how long it takes to finish each task. It is also essential to remember that a great deal of study can take longer than expected.
As a student I need to allow time for unforeseen circumstances. Everybody needs to relax and have some leisure time, being a student is no exception and I need to schedule time for this (Cottrell, 2008). Since becoming a student I have improved my time management skills. The main reason for this is that if I didn’t then I would not be able to succeed in my studies and everyday life. I have not only had to keep to a schedule for my time at college but also for my work placement, childcare arrangements, study time, and my volunteer youth work. I have also managed to give myself enough time to relax and wind down.
In the past I have only had to manage my employment and childcare. I have learnt to prioritize certain tasks and make good use of the time available. Since starting the course I have identified the best time of day for me to study and also now have the ability to balance work, home, social and study life. During my work placement at a school I have gained knowledge of school policies and procedures. I also now have a greater understanding of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and while working with children who have this disorder I have learnt to be patient and consistent.
I have developed my awareness of behavior management techniques whilst observing teachers and assistants. Listening can be described as the ability to perceive and process information that is presented orally (Hargie 2006). As a student I have improved my listening skills and am more focused than I have been in the past. I can listen carefully to a lecturer with interest and can take notes and ask questions when appropriate. I have also learnt to listen to other student’s opinions on subjects and to not judge them if I don’t agree with what they say.
During my first term at university every student had to prepare a 15 minute presentation to be presented in front of the class. The class then, as a whole, had to mark each student’s presentation individually with criteria the group had agreed on. This is something that I had never experienced before and can now work as part of a group to discuss an issue and come to a unanimous decision. I was very nervous before I gave my presentation but I mostly enjoyed the experience and now feel more confident regarding speaking in front of a group and believe I will be less nervous in the future.
Through my work placement I have observed children and recorded my findings. During observations you learn to recognize good practice within the setting and become aware of how other practitioners meet the needs of children (Hobart,Frankel, 1999). I now have experience of observing both teachers and children and have had the opportunity to plan activities that have increased my confidence in working with children. Since becoming a student, my I. T skills have improved considerably.
I had previously had very little experience with using a computer. I can now research using the internet, send essays via email, use e-books and use word processers. I have become aware of what plagiarism is and have learnt how to reference academically using the Harvard referencing system. I can now incorporate references into my journals and essays with confidence; I had not previously had experience of this. After completing a skills audit I have been able to identify my strengths and weaknesses and also what areas can be developed.
I have also been able set myself goals for my academic, personal, and professional aspects of my life. I have realized that I am very happy with some areas of my personal development but would like to improve in others. I am very happy with my ability to find information using different sources but would like to improve my ability to decide what parts of the information I need to read. I am also happy with my ability to express myself verbally and believe I work well as part of a team but would like to improve my capacity of making effective notes when reading and listening.