Brain Blast: Time Savers for Teachers

We all know that teaching is demanding physically and mentally. But the king of all stress comes from unforgiving time demands. The planning, the meetings, the grading, and all the communication with parents. 

All that means you have a lot to stay on top of. I hope some of these strategies save you time that can be used to rejuvenate and spend time with family and friends. 

​​WHEN STUCK, GO SIMPLE.

When in doubt about a lesson plan, the simplest solution is usually the most elegant.

DIGITIZE HANDOUTS

A scanner with a batch feeder and Evernote are Jedi-level teaching tools.

Title handouts with a specific name: “10th Grade Literature Body Biography_Version 2 Fall 2017.”

MANAGE YOUR ENERGY

Do hard tasks when you have more energy.

GRADEBOOK ORDER

Assign each student a number for the semester that corresponds with your grade-book. The last student to touch papers being turned in sorts them into number order and writes down the missing #s on a cover sheet.  

EVERYTHING HAS A HOME

Every piece of paper has a home. All materials have a home. When students try to hand you a paper, remind them where it goes.  

USE A RUBBER STAMP

Create a custom rubber stamp (http://bit.ly/_STAMP) with your full address to process forms that require your name, address and phone number.

USE A KEYBOARD SHORTCUT UTILITY

Create custom keyboard shortcuts to expand and replace commonly used text snippets as you type. Try TextExpander, AutoText, Typinator, aText, or TypeIt4Me, etc.

PROTECT WORK TIME

Put a sign on your door during intensive work times: “Work Zone from 1:00-2:00PM. Available at 3:30PM.”

MEAL PLAN WITH A CROCK-POT

Come home to the smell of Baked Ziti, Tater Tot Casserole, French Dip Sandwiches, Cashew Chicken, and Barley and Chickpea Risotto with “50+ Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes…” (http://bit.ly/_Crock-Pot)

PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE

Each night set out your clothing, accessories, technology, books, workout clothes, and paperwork, all in a rolling suitcase or mobile folding cart. Add your lunch bag and thermos in the morning and you’re on your way.

MINIMIZE YOUR CHOICES

Buy 1 brand of socks in 2 or 3 colors for quick sorting & 1 type of Tupperware, so lids are easy to find. Go to bed, wake up, and workout at the same time.

CREATE A CHECKLIST FOR EVENINGS

For example...

  • Calendar Check
  • Check TickTick.com
  • Write Goals Notecard for Tomorrow
  • Put on Orange Goggles to Block Blue Light
  • Pack Gym Clothes
  • Pack Lunch
  • Set Out Work and Gym Clothes
  • Check Emails
  • Straighten Desk
  • Phone Silence
  • Set Alarm
  • Stretch
  • Read for 15 Minutes
  • 10:00 PM – Lights Out

Create a Morning Checklist

For Example. . .

  • Check Calendar
  • Check Goal Notecard
  • Review TickTick.com
  • Scan Emails
  • Pack Coffee & Lunch
  • Breakfast & Vitamins
Todd Finley

Edutopia Blogger and Asst. Editor || ECU Ed Professor || Founder of Todd’s Brain at www.todd-finley.com || Books: Dinkytown Braves and Rethinking Classroom Design.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below