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Teacher Routines that Set Me Up for Success

As teachers, we know how important it is to be organized and prepared for our daily routines in the classroom. But as I get further along in my career, I’ve learned that my routines outside the classroom are even more important. With teacher burnout on the rise, prioritizing self-care has never been more important. After a bit of trial and error, I’ve finally found teacher routines that help me feel grounded and excited about the week ahead!


Teacher Routine 1: Nighttime Prep

The key to a productive, happy day starts the night before. Here are a few things I do to ensure I make time for myself at night and get a good rest!

  • Pack my lunch the night before. I HATE doing this but I always underestimate how long it will take and then end up scrambling in the morning. Just. Pack. It. At. Night. 
  • Pick an outfit & set it aside
  • Get my bag ready and packed
  • Stop working at least 1 hour before bed
  • Put my phone on “do not disturb” and charge it away from my bed. Mine is still in the bedroom, but it’s just out of reach so I don’t waste time scrolling!
  • 10-30 minutes of “me” time. For me, this is skincare and reading right before bed.

Sometimes after a long day, this seems daunting but once you get into the habit and routine, it gets easy. And I promise, it’s so worth it. You start your day on such a positive, productive note and doing all of these things allows you to sleep in a little more too!

Teacher Routine 2: Morning Routine

As you can see, my nighttime routine actually leaves very little for me to do in the morning which works best for me. It gives me the opportunity to start my morning off a little slower and more peacefully. Here are a few things I do in the morning:

  • Wake up early 3 days a week to give myself “me” time in the morning. For me, this is 5:15-5:30am. If this sounds *crazy* to you, I highly recommend you try out a wake-up light alarm clock. It’s literally changed the game for me! Click here for the one I have, or here for a cheaper alternative.
  • Journal, read or do a meditation. Sometimes this is 3 minutes, sometimes it’s 20 – just depends when I wake up and how I’m feeling.
  • Spend 30 minutes on a task that needs to get done. I always do some TpT work in the morning (e.g., answering emails, finalizing a project) but for you this could even be a house chore or personal task you’d like to knock off the list.
  • Make coffee & get ready

Teacher Routine 3: In-Class Routines


Last but not least, my in-class teacher routines. In short, I schedule my weekly teaching tasks on different days of the week to ensure everything gets done.

  • Monday-Wednesday: Grading
    I use all of my prep periods at the start of the week for grading to ensure I get things back to my kiddos on time. If I don’t have much, I’ll use them to unit plan.
  • Thursday: Prep the Week Ahead
    I use my Thursday prep AND break to get everything written in my planner for the week ahead
  • Friday: Photocopies
    I use my Friday prep to get all of my photocopies done. 

This routine is SUCH a game changer. If you start to fall behind on any of the tasks, you can rearrange your schedule or pick one night a week to stay after school to wrap up any loose ends. If you’re looking for more time saving tips, click here!

This may seem like a lot to take in at once, but even if you try implementing just a few of these teacher routines at a time, I promise you’ll notice a difference in your mood and stress levels. If you try any of them, DM or tag me on Instagram @lessonsforlearning. I’d love to see what you’re up to and chat all things routines. 


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I’m Katarina and I teach elementary students in Toronto, Canada. I’m passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that students will love and remember. If you are looking to improve your classroom management and engage your students with easy-to-implement resources and tools, you’re in the right place!

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