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What teacher does not have a list a mile long at what needs to be accomplished during each school week, let alone each individual day? How can a person get it all done but still have a life? Can a teacher enjoy the weekend? Teachers can spend much time working at all the needed tasks for the week. It can lead to major burnout. Can we carve out a bit of time here and there to give us more me time in the end? The answer is a most definite YES! That’s why today we’re sharing 10 ways to find extra time as a teacher.
1. Limit Talking with Others
How many times do we find ourselves chatting with other teachers or staff members during the school day when we could be taking care of tasks? All individuals need time to interact with our friends and to take care of business. Just limit the time you do it.
2. Use Lunchtime Wisely
An area that does not work for many but may for few is lunch time. If you find yourself with time left over after you eat your lunch, do not sit and chat or stare off in space. Use the time productively.
3. Use Specials & Recess to Your Advantage
The same is to be said during specials and recess. Instead of surfing the internet for the latest news or checking your social media accounts (because I would never look at Pinterest during a prep – oops!), update your grades, straighten your room, or what else can be done that will help you find extra time.
4. Be Choosy with Grading
Does each assignment need to be graded? Only you can answer that. This will look differently if you teach the little ones versus the older ones. Make sure the assignments continue to practice the skills you have had the students work during the day.
5. Give a Few Extra Minutes
Coming to school 10 minutes early and stay 10 minutes late to take care of those tasks you would normally do during the weekends. Many times, these are the times that people are not around to bug you. Is an extra 20 minutes a few days a week worth having a weekend with less work? Scandalous, but it works!
6. Copy More Efficiently
Plan all your copying for the week and get it done in one or two settings. It will save time running back and forth.
7. Plan Assignments Carefully
Spread out the larger assignments that will require a bit more grading. Then you will not get them all at once.
8. Get Organized!
Find an organization system that works for you and stick with it. Be it file folders, baskets, or boxes – the less time you must search for items can save precious minutes.
Streamline the simple housekeeping tasks of the day. Once your students know the procedures and expectations your day can go much more smoothly! Have a routine for the students AND for yourself!
10. Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
Use your teacher’s aides, assistants, student leaders, or whomever to help you with tasks that they in every right could do. Student leaders could be the “pick up the room” squad; aides could get copies down or help correct papers. Would that save you some time?
I know I said this post was only going to be ten ways to find extra time as a teacher, but I had to include this tip as well. Stop recreating the wheel! Start using Teachers Pay Teachers. I know that budgets can be tight, and that’s why there are many free items. If you eventually run across an amazing paid resource – great! It took me two years before I bought something on TpT, and I have never looked back! The quality of resources our fellow teachers can make it phenomenal. 🙂
Teachers need time. As educators, we need to take time for ourselves, spend time with our families and friends, and to take care of the little annoying things being an adult brings. With the overloading, stifling piles of work that we must tackle each day, using some of the above tips will help you find extra time in places and ways that you would not dream!