1. USE A PLANNER: No, it’s not too late to start. A good planner can make any teacher’s job a lot easier. If you are currently looking for a planner tailored directly to FACS teachers, feel free to check out my new downloadable planner here or visit Da Goodie Shop!
2. GET ORGANIZED: I know you hear it over and over again, but nothing wastes more time than always having to look for things because you don’t know where to put it. Check out the following links for some classroom organization ideas- here, here, and here!
3. GET ALL MATERIALS READY THE DAY BEFORE: Sometimes you just never know what will happen tomorrow so getting your materials ready ahead of time will definitely cut down on stress and save you some time. It ensures you are prepared in case you are absent, it allows you time to mentally prepare in the mornings, and it cuts down on forgetting things. Some tasks that an be completed the day before includes: writing your lesson on the board, making copies, gathering all project/lab materials and equipment and creating a to do list of what needs to be done the next day.
4. PLAN YOUR PERSONAL SPACE: Sometimes in the midst of planning, organizing, and decorating your classroom to create an inviting and motivational environment for your students; we sometimes forget about a pace for ourselves. We too need a space that is clean, functional, inspiring, fun and even pretty!
5. CREATE AND USE TEMPLATES: Another time waster is always having to recreate the wheel. Why not create templates before hand so you are always ready to go. Below are a few ideas of what to use templates for:
- Lesson Plans
- Letters of recommendation
- Parent letters/Communications
- Student information forms
- Project Planning forms
6. USE TECHNOLOGY WISELY: There are several programs available to make teaching easier and less time consuming. However, it can easily become a time drainer when you begin spending too much time checking emails, searching for ideas, researching, etc. I propose setting a time limit on things involving the internet; i.e. 30 minutes reading and responding to emails. Also, check out my 30 Days of Technology post for useful classroom apps here.
7. CREATE A SCHEDULE: The never-ending day of a teacher; you all know how it goes. There is just never enough time in a day to get everything done. To address this issue, try creating a schedule. No one wants to grade papers everyday, plan lessons everyday or even make copies everyday. So try creating a schedule similar to the one below:
- Monday-Copy day
- Tuesday-Parent Contacts
- Wednesday-Grade papers
- Thursday-Catch Up or FREE Day (Lol!)
- Friday-Plan lessons for the following week
8. GET AHEAD: This ties in with the tip above. Don’t always wait to the last minute to plan lessons, projects, trips, events, etc. Waiting to the last minute often leads to poor planning, not being prepared, forgetting important dates, events or materials and so on. Tip: See #1 🙂
9. GET STUDENTS STARTED IMMEDIATELY AND KEEP THEM ENGAGED: Following this simple tip will cut down on wasting time correcting students’ behaviors. Use warm up activities to get students started immediately. You may want to check out my Appetizers product in Da Goodie Shop. Also, have activities planned for those fast finishers because it has been proven repeatedly that when students have free or unstructured time, they tend to find ways to entertain themselves which in turn becomes a distraction for others.
10. LEARN TO SAY “NO!”: FACS teachers are called on for several different tasks and favors and many not having to do with teaching. However, everyone has to understand that we too are teachers and have to prepare lessons and manage classes in addition to run a student organization and more. I want to let you know that it’s ok to say no about preparing refreshments for an afterschool faculty meeting or no to ironing table cloths for an event for another class and more. Always check your schedule first!
I know that to most of you this information is old news, but sometimes it takes a kick or a simple reminder to get you back on track. Time is Precious!!! Plan and use yours wisely. Hope these tips help you have a more productive year.
Keep being fantastic!