Feeling Frazzled? 5 Tricks to Help Teachers Free Up Time

By Miranda Kozman | Teacher Tips

Already counting the days to winter break…in October?

It happens to the best of us!

With parent meet-and-greets, staff meetings, grading, and your own prep work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Don’t spend the whole year feeling this way.

Follow these five teacher tips to get more done in less time.

#1: Turn Your Busy Work into Someone’s Community Service Hours

There are tons of high school students who need community service hours for their college applications, church groups, National Honor Society, etc. So get in touch with your neighborhood high school's guidance counselor. Have them find a couple students to help you. They can grade papers, decorate your classroom, organize your class library, etc. It’s a win-win!

#2: Stop Making Your Lessons from Scratch

There are so many great websites that have expertly crafted lesson plans, worksheets, and entire units. So why would you spend your time making things from scratch? Spending a couple hours searching for high-quality online teaching materials (like BookPagez.com) can save you hundreds of hours in the long run. And if all else fails, ask your fellow teachers! You’d be surprised what people have hiding on their computers or under their beds.

#3: Wasting Time on Something? Find an App

There’s an app for absolutely everything these days! You’ve probably already heard about digital tools that help you create and grade quizzes online or track your students' data. But did you know there are apps that automatically divide students into groups, help students improve their handwriting, and even monitor the noise level in your classroom? Yep, there really is an app for everything. Here’s a list of apps put together by Scholastic to get you started.

#4: Automate Your Parent-Teacher Communication

Busy phone lines. Frantic late-night emails about homework. Missing permission slips. Staying in touch with parents can be a real headache (and a huge time-suck). It’s time to get your time back! Set up an automated texting system that sends a group-text to all parents with one click. Or create a class website where you can post homework assignments and deadlines. That way, you can keep parents “in the know” with minimal time and effort on your part.

#5: Take Advantage of Class Jobs

You're probably doing a lot of little things that your students could be doing for you. Do you water the plants in your room? Never again! Assign a “Class Horticulturist” to take care of it. Do you spend every morning re-organizing library books or cleaning up stray art supplies? Not any more! Instead, make “Class Organizer” a coveted class job and have students take turns tidying up their own spaces. Do you spend your lunch break grading papers? Instead, have students trade-and-grade during class, or assign a “Teacher-in-Training” to help you grade once a week. Kids love having jobs and roles. So write down a list of all the little things you want off your plate, give them catchy names, and watch students fight to do them for you. It’s that easy!