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  • Writer's pictureAlison Hamacher

Top Benefits of Edficiency for Teachers

For those of us teachers who have flex periods in our school, we want to ensure the time is beneficial for our students (and ourselves). We want to ensure our students get what they need, whether we provide intervention, enrichment, club opportunities, lesson extensions, or just a space for any of our students’ diverse needs. Suppose your school is like many, with spreadsheets, documents, or even paper passes and post-its being used to schedule your flex period. In that case, you probably recognize this as a struggle for everyone. The logistics of scheduling time with students can often be overwhelming, but the extra time spent with them is valuable for everyone involved. If you are searching for a more efficient way to manage your schedule and have more time to dedicate to your students, Edficiency scheduling software may be a good fit for your school. This system offers numerous benefits for teachers looking to optimize their time.


Edficiency was even created by a teacher who saw the need in his school to simplify flex period logistics and get more time with the students who need it most. The heart of the system lies in the automation, intelligence, flexibility, and responsiveness in which students are assigned to flex period sessions. In this article, we will share some of the many benefits that Edficiency offers teachers and how they can help take your flex period to the next level so you can decide if you think it’d benefit your school.





#1. Saves You Time 

Time is so elusive when we are teachers. We are often looking for just five more minutes and never seem to find it. With only a few minutes daily, you can request individual students or groups for the next day, or within a date range, eliminating the need to contact students and co-workers to coordinate. With the system automating assignments for all students, allowing for flexibility and being responsive to the varied needs of your school in just a few keystrokes, you can rest assured that you will see the students you need to see with the added benefit of more time on your side. 91% of teachers and administrators who use Edficiency report that it saves them time compared to other methods and software they’ve tried.


#2. Easy to Use 

Though saving time is a great benefit, pair that with being easy to use, and you may be closer to your flex period easy button. The system is designed by a teacher for teachers, to be intuitive and straightforward. The interface is user-friendly, avoiding cluttered screens with only what you need in front of you at any given time. Teachers also have access to video tutorials so you can learn in a few minutes anything you might want to know more about. While most feel comfortable without watching most of the videos they can be helpful reference tools that can be watched as quickly (or slowly) as you might like. In fact, 94% of teachers and administrators who use Edficiency agree that the software is easy to use. 


#3. Freedom of Choice

Edficiency offers the flexibility to create sessions unique to a specific period of time, whether they are one-time offerings or sessions you run multiple times. With just a few clicks, teachers can create sessions for interventions, enrichment, clubs, test reviews, or whatever else you can think of that aligns with your school’s vision. Additionally, when needed, users can add a group of students to each session. For most schools, teachers don’t even need to create their own sessions every day, as school administrators can push the usual “default” sessions in for teachers when they’re doing what they usually do, only requiring teachers to add unique offerings when they want. The system also allows teachers to edit sessions quickly whenever things change, freeing up more time for planning and preparation around each student's diverse goals. For instance, if your admin had created a study hall for you, you can easily edit it to offer a specific tutoring session where you request specific students you need to help. Or, if something changes the night before, teachers can always make last-minute changes to add more students or offer something different when needed, like moving that club meeting to a later date to make room for a more urgent intervention


#4. Get the Students You Need When You Need Them

This is where the rubber meets the road with Edficiency. The system helps you and your students make the most of the flex period by handling the logistics so you can hold the sessions you need with the students that need them most. Through individual student requests or group requests, Edficiency allows you to easily create tutorial sessions, enrichment offerings, lesson extensions, or support for those students you have rapport. Individual requests make it easy for you to get the students you need. Requests can be made up until midnight the night before your flex period, as roster assignments are not confirmed until midnight. For example, you might be grading papers at home on Tuesday evening and notice some students struggled with a concept in the homework. You can request to see them on Wednesday to provide a just-in-time intervention with all that Edficiency gives you the ability to do without the added hassle.


#5. Plan Ahead Without Any Hassle

Another great feature to help you manageably find time for students to make up work or tests is the ability to request students over date ranges. For instance, you may have had a group of students out for illness or a school-related activity, and they missed a test. You recognize that these students may have other teachers who need them for a similar reason in a more immediate time frame. Still, you need to have the tests taken within the next week. Edficiency helps you make this happen effortlessly. By simply requesting the students you need and indicating the date range they need to be seen in, the system will take your request and assign the students to you within that time frame, checking for any other more immediate requests made by your co-workers, but not dismissing your request until it is met. The need for checking in with other teachers to get the students you need is now a thing of the past, saving you time to focus more on your students.


#6. Easily Group Students Across Classes

Groups allow some fantastic opportunities when creating sessions. Some of the most powerful features of the Edficiency scheduling system rely on groups. One of the best things is that you can easily create groups with kids from different classes so you can see them all at the same time. For instance, if you have 15 students spread across three different classes you determine that all need the same intervention, you can make a group request for them all at one time during flex time so you don’t have to differentiate for them in their regular classes with students that don’t need the same support (nor do you have to repeat the same intervention three different times). By creating groups of students, sessions can automatically enroll students, be limited to allowing only specific students to see and request sessions, and create sessions that automatically draw in specific students whether or not requests have been made. And, with only a few clicks, you can create a group for a tutorial session and modify it easily should the need arise. Groups also make it easier to manage and hold club meetings or sessions. For example, if you are the Yearbook Advisor, you can create a group in the system for your Year Book Club, using it each time you hold a meeting. Further, should you need to add or remove members, it is just a few simple mouse clicks. Giving you time back. 


#7. Prioritize Who You Need To See

As former teachers, Edficiency knows the importance of getting the students you need, and we know how critical it is to have teacher requests take precedence over student requests. This is why we assign students using an algorithm with different levels of priority, and teacher requests supersede student requests in the system. You have the autonomy to determine if you need to see a student at a high level of request as it is important or a low level if it is something that would be a benefit but isn’t urgent. An added bonus is the ability to request them up until midnight the night before your flex period.


#8. Automatically Get Those You Need More Time With

Edficiency offers an additional feature for teachers called the "At-Risk" flag. This flag is used to identify students who you could always use more time with, whether they are struggling in a particular subject area, you see their grades slipping, have social-emotional needs, are frequently missing assignments, or even those that have a good relationship with a teacher. Once a student is flagged, the system automatically assigns them to the teacher who flagged them if they don’t have a more important place to be on any given day. This ensures that regular check-ins can be done with the student without having to go in and make regular requests in the system. The flag can be easily removed anytime once the student's needs have been met.

 

#9. Balanced Class Sizes

Edficiency has two built-in features that ensure fair and equitable distribution of students - balancing class sizes and enforced maximum class sizes. This means that the system can determine what a balanced classroom looks like by calculating the average capacity of each session and what percent of it should be filled. Then, it can take that information to ensure a session that already has more assigned students (based on intentional requests) will not have more seats filled, ensuring that each session has a relatively equal number of students assigned. For example, if Teacher A requests 10 students and has 20 available seats while Teacher B requests only 5 students and has 20 available seats, and each session should be half full on average, Teacher A will not receive any extra students. In comparison, Teacher B would likely get another 5 (or so) students assigned to them in addition to the 5 they requested, resulting in both teachers having 10 students assigned out of their 20 open seats. Additionally, the system also knows which teachers each student has to ensure that, whenever possible, an unrequested student is assigned to a teacher they know from their regular schedule.


#10. Never Getting More Kids Than You Can Take

When planning flex period sessions, we always consider meeting the needs of our students, as well as student safety. This is a key consideration and matters during flex periods. Therefore, the system enforces a maximum number of students to be assigned to each session (even if it varies based on what is happening in that space). Edficiency will automatically recognize maximum class sizes for each location proactively, meaning staff will never get more students assigned to them than they can take. Further, depending on the type of session the teacher has planned for the day, the maximum class size can be adjusted easily by the teacher or the administrator. This means a wide variety of sessions can easily be offered. For example, a large study hall in the library with 100 seats can be held so a teacher can provide intervention in their classroom with a limited session of 20 seats. The system assigns students accordingly and enforces the limits without the need for intervening, providing a hassle-free experience for everyone involved.


#11. No Double-Booking Locations During Flex Time

Efficiency ensures there are no unintended conflicts when staff schedule sessions, which is especially helpful in shared spaces like the library, auditorium, and cafeteria. Each teacher oversees a single session in a specific location. And, each teacher can only have one session per day. Additionally, each location can only be used by one teacher at a time, unless an administrator approves splitting the location between two teachers. This means you don't have to worry about overlapping schedules or double bookings. Once the sessions are created and locations are assigned, they are no longer available as options on dropdowns in the system. Therefore, you can breathe easier, knowing that the system ensures your session will occur without the risk of conflict.


#12. Always Know Where Students Are

A great feature that helps everyone in the school, is the ability for administrators and teachers to look up where students are assigned. All staff can look up where every student is assigned, so they can help students ensure they know where they need to be or ensure they know where to find any student in the event a parent calls or comes to pick up a student. This feature takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out where a student not on your roster, but appears in your session is assigned. Furthermore, should the student not have a requested assignment, you could make a change to the enrollment they have for that day. Giving you the ability to see them and work with them if that is needed. This means when Johnny shows up in your room on a day he’s not assigned to you, you can know where he’s supposed to be and whether it’d be appropriate for you to move him into your room for the day based on why he was assigned elsewhere (should you want him to stay, of course, rather than send him on his way). 


#13. Easy Access from Anywhere

Password sheets be gone! With Edficiency, we work to have the most user-friendly platform on the market, and one way we keep you in mind is by offering single sign-on for schools that manage their email through Google or Microsoft. Equally important is the ease with which Edficiency is designed to feel native on any device, whether you are on a tablet, phone, laptop, or desktop. As long as you have an internet connection, you can have quick and easy access, whether from your desk, while roaming the halls, or from the comfort of your own home. This means there's no need to worry about managing (or remembering!) separate passwords for your students. And, if single sign-on isn't an option for your school, all users can set up a password during the first login in a straightforward process. 


#14. Increased Student Achievement 

We know the importance of student achievement. The combined ability for students to choose the sessions they need and teachers being able to get the students they need makes for a winning combination. This is especially true when teachers can strategically group students with similar needs together at the same time (something not possible otherwise when they aren’t in the same class), which allows them to provide more targeted and timely support. And when students aren’t needed for any of these teacher-driven targeted interventions, students can advocate for themselves and access the support they need. By providing more choice and freedom in their learning, we allow students to demonstrate their autonomy and access their internal motivations, which ultimately translates into improved achievement. According to a survey, 86% of teachers and administrators who use Edficiency agree that it has contributed to an increase in student achievement. Making decisions about the sessions they need to attend to get what they need is pivotal in students being responsible for their learning outcomes and working to do the very best they can.


#15. Get Back to the Heart of Teaching

So, with everything the technical side offers, you can embody the heart of why you became a teacher. With Edficiency as a software scheduling tool to save you time, you now have a greater opportunity to do the vital work - focus on your students. Edficiency’s automation, intelligence, and responsiveness for assigning students where they most need to be, means you now have the additional time to individualize and personalize instruction for your students. Additionally, you can support students as they learn to collaborate in the learning process. But beyond all of these, the greatest is the opportunity to develop and strengthen relationships with your students.


 

If the benefits of Edficiency seem like something your school could benefit from, schedule a demo with us. We would love to share the many benefits Edficiency offers not only teachers but administrators and students as well.

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