Teacher Time Management Hacks – Save Hours Instantly!

Most of the world doesn’t understand how much time time management goes into teaching. Most of the outside world see things like summer breaks and holidays and imagine that teachers are just swimming free time.


Of course, you know that’s not the case. Teachers must do a ton of preparation after hours when it comes to making tests, assessment reports, and communicating with students and parents.

That’s why time management is so vital for teachers. A few easy tricks can help you save time each day. And at the end of the year, you’ll have saved more time, simple.

Without any further ado, here are our top time management tricks for teachers.


Make Time With Break Time

Teaching sometimes gives you unexpected break times. A school-wide rally may mean you don’t have to teach for the last 30 minutes, or a Professional Development day may give you an extra couple of hours in your classroom with no distractions.

It’s tempting to take your break time and take a break! But to master time management, you should start using this unexpected extra time to knock items off of your to-do list.

Think of this as “working hard to be lazy.” The more you do now, the more you can relax later!


Simplify That List

Speaking of to-do lists, these are a double-edged sword to teachers. It’s almost impossible to stay on track without making a list of things to do. At the same time, it’s easy for teachers to overwhelm themselves with a giant list.

Walk the middle ground by creating a small (no more than five items) list of realistic goals. This helps you stay on track while still giving you enough time to enjoy your non-work hours.


Make Homework Work

The chances are that your students think you assign too much homework. Here’s something you may not want to hear: they might be right!

The more you have them do, the more you must take home to assess. If you’re not careful, you might lose an entire night (or two or three nights) to simply marking homework.

You might consider doing homework only one or two nights a week. Or have parents sign off on student progress, making students and parents accountable and leaving you with nothing to do but check for the signature.

Homework should still be meaningful. Try to strike a balance between impactful work and work you can assess in a reasonable time frame.

Remember, homework can also be assessed through classroom discussions; peers assessment, and you can also ask parents to evaluate homework with feedback. Not every piece of homework should be marked by you, so get creative.


Closed Doors Are Self-Care

Want to hear the number one enemy of your productivity? It’s your coworkers.

You’ve likely bonded with some of your coworkers. And many of them will see an open classroom door as an invitation to come in and talk with you.

It’s okay if you have time to catch up on gossip. But sometimes these coworkers come in when you are trying to get some serious work done.

Don’t be afraid to close the door. A closed-door sends a simple message: “leave me alone while I’m working!” Or if that does not work, tell them you’re busy.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Let’s be honest: time management isn’t always fun. And when you’re the only one judging your time management skills, it’s easy to let things slide. Pretty soon, all of your productivity and motivation has ground to a halt.

That’s why we recommend finding an accountability partner at the school. This might be a fellow teacher with whom you share your weekly goals.

At the end of the week, you can check with each other to make sure each person accomplished everything they needed to. This encourages the kind of accountability and even competition that can boost your motivation back to where it needs to be.


“No:” The Real Magic Word

You probably went into teaching because you like to help people. So when your senior team ask if you can take on a new project, you might be tempted to say “yes instantly.”

The truth is that all of us need to practice saying “no” more often. Don’t reflexively agree to new responsibilities: instead, genuinely consider if you have the time to balance this new task with your others.

If you’re feeling bold, you can ask your faculty head if you will be getting additional compensation for your other responsibilities; maybe through relieving pressure elsewhere? Don’t just nod and say yes to everything.

This alone may keep you from getting too many of these requests in the future!


Eat That Frog

Believe it or not, we can learn a lot about time management from the American author Mark Twain. He once claimed, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

The idea is simple: if you know you have an unpleasant task ahead of you, knock it out right away. And if you have multiple unpleasant tasks, take on the biggest ones first.

By knocking out the significant items on your to-do list early on, you make it easier to knock out many more things by the end of the week. But if you leave the most annoying tasks for lasts, you may find yourself dragging your feet all week.


Teacher Time Management Hacks – Save Hours Instantly!

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