Teachers have one of the most rewarding, as well as challenging, jobs out there. The job doesn’t stop when the teacher leaves the classroom, and because of this, we recognize the importance of not wasting a single minute of the work day. Through reaching out to a number of different teachers, we have come up with a list of the top five time savers for the busy classroom teacher!
1. Borrow Good Ideas, Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: One of the best parts about having a community of fellow teachers, is having the opportunity to share what works and what doesn’t work. Reach out to some of the best teachers that you know and see what great activities and lesson plans they have used over the years. You can always change little details or make any adjustments that you see fit, but not having to start from scratch will save a considerable amount of time inside and outside of the classroom.
2. Use a Daily Planner: At times, our heads seem to be filled with countless different projects, deadlines, activities, and thoughts that make our day seem extremely busy. By using a planner that allows you to detail out your schedule, and keep an active ‘to do’ list within it, your day will seem a lot more manageable.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead: I like to think that this time saving trick is what you get when you combine trick one and trick two. By knowing what you will be doing, how you will be doing it, and how it’s expected to play out before even beginning, you won’t feel the rush and anxiousness of doing something last minute. Although some spontaneity is a good thing in life, it doesn’t need to be the case for the class schedule. Creating a syllabus for the year and determining which lessons will be taught on which days gives you some extra breathing room.
4. Assign Tasks to Students: A great trick to employ is delegation. As a teacher, you’re typically in a room filled with 20 to 30 other people, but more often than not, you try to do everything on your own. By assigning different jobs to students (ie: ‘supplies distributor’, ‘paper passer outter’, or ‘clean up crew’) you’re not only getting help with the days tasks and speeding up the process, but you’re also teaching your students the responsibility that they need to learn!
5. ‘Make Up Assignment’ Calendar: When a student is absent, they’re likely going to ask you for all the work they missed while they were out. This eats up a lot of your time as you try to explain the assignments, give a brief overview of the lesson, and basically catch them up to speed. Set aside a place in your classroom with a calendar that lists the assignments and chapters covered for each day. Also have a filing system with it that the student can go into and grab all the necessary papers from without bothering you to get them. Putting a system in place like this will save you time in the long run and reduce the amount of interruptions that may occur.
We are interested in any other time saving tricks that you have found useful in your years of teaching! Let us know of any helpful tips and tricks to employ in your classroom. Nominate your favorite teacher, or sign yourself up, for our Classroom Makeover Madness Sweepstakes for a chance to WIN some great prizes!
By: Emily K, Swingline Intern