this may sound a bit corny..
but I put the pieces on a kiln shelf the minute they are done and put them in
the kiln. Generally this keeps the students work "kind of " together. I do
very small projects and can get 4 classes in the kiln at one time.
Unless, I am doing a lot of slab work, I heat the kiln a little just a tad to
dry things out, on the bottom shelves......(Be very careful in doing this!)
You don't want to forget, even with an automatice shut off.
I asked for more kiln shelves so I could load more work from our PTO ...
this with the rational that fewer firings saves energy.
I sign out the computer lab for 3 days while the pieces are drying ...do a
mini in between project and have the bisque out when we get back.