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Time and task management in teaching

AUTHOR : By David Gumbrell

ISBN : 9781913453732

Edition No : 1

Publication : Apr 9, 2021

Extent : 148 pgs

ISBN : 9781913453756

Edition No : 1

Publication : Apr 9, 2021

Extent : 148 pgs

ISBN : 9781913453749

Edition No : 1

Publication : Apr 9, 2021

Extent : 148 pgs

ISBN : 9781913453763

Edition No : 1

Publication : Apr 9, 2021

Extent : 148 pgs


39 reflections to turn task completion into time for you

Your time is precious – so use it well.

With so many pulls on your time, and a changing environment, now more than ever it is vital that your time and task management is both targeted and efficient. If you can achieve this, you can allocate more time for yourself and so become a more relaxed and effective teacher. All too often to do list gets longer and longer which can impact on your enjoyment of the job and, more importantly, your mental health and well-being.

Building on the strategies in his first two book, LIFT and RISK, David Gumbrell advocates that you need to focus your attention on giving the right plates a spin to save time, energy and attention that you can then allocate elsewhere. The 39 short, research-based chapters, punctuated with reflective questions, along with teacher interviews, together build into a significant body of knowledge to promote resilience and teacher retention.

Praise for RISK

A beautifully written book with David's characteristic use of rich metaphors and thoughtful narrative. This book will certainly help you make bolder and better decisions in the classroom and beyond. Adrian Bethune



Part A: SPINNING – How effective is plate spinning as a strategy to get things done, for you?  

  1. Jiaoda opera
  1. Beach balls blow your mind  
  1. Hypotrochoids and epitrochoids
  1. DVDs spin
  1. Hamster wheels  
  1. Play pumps
  1. Wind farms

PART B: FITTING - How can you best fit all the jobs you have to do into the working day?

  1. Seven piece puzzle
  1. ISO – Keep cargo ships in order
  1. The power of punctuation
  1. Sinuous curves and straight lines
  1. Dutifully dovetailed
  1. Feat M C Escher
  1. Warp and weft

PART C: ORDERING – Which job should you do first, second and then third?

  1. Not a knot
  1. Fizz, bang, whoosh
  1. Cream teas - are you Devon or Cornwall?
  1. Judy and Punch
  1. Rock, paper, scissors
  1. Podium positioning
  1. Rounders and ‘abouters’

PART D: TIMING – How much time should you allocate to each job on your ‘To Do List’?

  1. Not now, Grommet
  1. Cryogenic torpedoes
  1. It’s a horological show
  2. A Black Forest tweet
  1. Greenwich clock
  1. Boil then bake then fry

PART E: FILTERING –e time? How can you filter out which of the job list needs to be done?

  1. Permanently temporary
  2. Activate your carbon
  1. Big blue whale
  1. Canned meat or email feat?
  1. Prime position
  1. Do bowling balls float?

PART F: RANDOMISING – Does a randomised approach to the job list, get the job done?                      

  1. Drawing the short straw
  2. Lottery numbers
  1. Life of Pi
  1. Baffle ball & bally hoo
  1. Running the gauntlet
  1. Grapeshot



David Gumbrell is an educational consultant, working in schools to support teachers with their resilience and also with teacher training providers and student teachers. He delivers INSET days, one-to-one coaching sessions, and speaks at headteacher conferences. Drawing on over 20 years of teaching experience, including 7 years as a headteacher, and research conducted at Kingston University, he is well placed to nurture the development of those new to the profession - as well as those who have been teaching for a little longer) He understands how precious time is for teachers and wanted to create a resource that made the best use of this. 

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Your Reviews on this book

A beautifully written book with David's characteristic use of rich metaphors and thoughtful narrative. This book will certainly help you make bolder and better decisions in the classroom and beyond.

Adrian Bethune, teacher and author of Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom

The power of this book centres around the questions posed throughout. These questions focus you and challenge you to think about not only your practice and the way in which you teach but also your habits and routines. The questions invite you to change the way you do things to enable you to be far more confident in taking risks within your own teaching that are beneficial for all, and that includes you, the teacher!

Catherine Carden, Canterbury Christ Church University

David uses his detailed and knowledgeable insight into the ways schools work and how we work within them to create an inspirational handbook full of practical advice and questions that make us think. This book should be on the reading list for every teacher and leader.

Kate Redman, deputy regional CEO, South Coast at Aspirations Academies

Through fascinating and engaging links to historical events and general knowledge, David encourages the reader to be confident and to take risks, embracing the creativity that leads to exciting and memorable lessons. His carefully crafted questions help to coach and reassure you that, although you cannot always predict the outcomes, it does not mean you have failed and that both joy and frustration are part of the journey as you move from bunny slopes to black runs!

Helen Shaw, Director of Teaching School at Glynn Learning Foundation

This is a welcome addition to sources of much needed support available for trainees and early career teachers. It is presented in a way that is practical and quickly accessible meaning that they can pick up and learn from it in bite-sized chunks – so important in this incredibly busy, sometimes overly pressured time. The advice is easily actionable but appropriately underpinned by research and evidence and will be an invaluable addition to busy teacher’s toolkit

Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University

David writes with warmth, intelligence and with practical encouragement to everyday teachers and leaders. As schools become increasingly busy, teachers are faced with ever more problems and challenges that need solutions. The multitude of decisions that need to be made in a school can range from the mundane to the profound, but those decisions must be made wisely.

In RISK David gives teachers support in taking decisions so that they can bring their best selves to navigating risk and the decision-making process and follow through on the consequences of the decisions they make

Angela Browne, Founder of Nourished Collective

RISK by David Gumbrell is a great one to casually pick up, read a quick story, learn a fact and introduce yourself to a new way of thinking. I subsequently found myself reading another story and another and then just one more. Each of the 39 stories has a great insight as to how we ourselves can think differently about people and situations and look for improvement. Ideal for teachers wanting to ‘break out’ and explore new methods and fascinating ideas to express their learnings within the classroom and also their lives.

Steve Judge, international speaker, coach, author and two times paratriathlon word champion
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