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Time Saving Tips for Teachers

Teaching is one of those professions that looks and sounds a lot easier than it is. When I started teachers college, I was excited about:

  • Making an impact on students
  • Having a job that is different everyday 
  • Decorating a classroom
  • Having a job that is different everyday
  • Creating fun projects that kids will remember
  • Being in a collaborative environment with colleagues

And yes of course, some work-life balance…

While a lot of that is true, the work-life balance piece was simply *not*. I didn’t realize that teaching required late nights, hours of work on the weekends and summers spent preparing for next year.

Thankfully however, after a few years in the classroom, juggling teaching, a business, and a social life, I learned how to create the work-life balance I always wanted. Without sacrificing anything else. So today I’m here to share some effective time saving tips for teachers. Let’s start!

time saving tips for teachers time management

Time Saving Tips for Teachers: #1 Ditch the Expectations

I find that many teachers place unrealistically high expectations on themselves. The first step to getting your time back is shift your mindset and become clear on your priorities. 

  • Does having your classroom perfectly decorated bring you more joy than spending the weekend with your family?
  • Is the project you just spent 10 hours creating better than paying $4.00 to grab the same thing on TpT? Consider what each hour of time is worth to you.
  • Do your students NEED detailed and descriptive feedback on EVERY piece of work they submit?

Consider what is most important to you and align the way you spend your time to that. If having an impact on students is #1, then you don’t need to spend 100 hours creating pretty worksheets. Maybe you just need to do the basics and focus on building relationships while you have those students in your classroom. Alternatively, if creating an engaging environment is important, you MAY spend more time on lesson planning and decorating but less time color-coding and organizing. 

Figure out what’s important to you & do more of THAT.

#2: Batch, Batch & Batch some more.

Batching is a term used to describe doing one type of task for an extended period of time. For example, rather than sitting down at night to create lessons for the next day – you would sit down once a week and create your lesson plans for the full week ahead, or even better – for a full unit ahead. 

It may sound time consuming, but once your unit is planned – your daily plans are a breeze! Just pick a lesson from the unit and plug it into the time slot/day that makes sense. Grab FREE planning templates here.

There are a number of other tasks you can batch as a teacher, but I would start with lesson planning first. If you are currently in report card season, you can batch to help with that as well! Check out this blog post for report card tips that will cut your writing time in half!

#3: Use Your Prep Time

Using my prep time is something I wish I had done a lot more of when I had started teaching. It can be very tempting to use this time as a break, but I don’t encourage it. When you talk to teacher friends or scroll on your phone during your prep, you are choosing to sacrifice your personal time later. If you don’t get things done while you are at school, you WILL have to get them done at home.

For me, I realized that it meant a LOT more to me to have my Saturday’s completely free from work, than it did to spend each of my preps socializing. Once I started making a plan for what to get done during each prep of the week, I realized I was actually saving myself about 5 hours of work on the weekend or in the evenings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love socializing at work. I just save the socializing for breaks so that I can further enjoy my time off.

I hope you enjoyed these time saving tips for teachers! If you are interested in learning ALL of the steps to reclaiming your time, check out The Balanced Teacher Method course here. It has everything you need to reclaim your time and fall in love with teaching again.

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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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