We are all looking for teacher time-saving tips.
I have compiled my most favourite ideas in this blog post to help teachers save time so they have more time to spend with the people they love.
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Teacher Time-Saving Tips
- Pick out your clothes the night before and have them ready to go. There are many hanging racks, over the door hooks or other systems that can help you properly store your choices. If you are really keen look at the weather for the week ahead and plan out all of your outfits.
- Wear the same thing every Friday. If your school does not have a dress code then make Fridays a school spirit day. I wear jeans on Fridays and a school-themed t-shirt. You could also wear clothing that represents your favourite sports team or your alma mater.
- Angela Watson in this blog post How to curate an easy teaching wardrobe that’s comfortable and feels like “you” explains how to streamline your clothing strategy. I also wrote about a similar topic in 10 Tips For Dressing Well on a Teacher Budget.
On Your Commute
- Listen to audiobooks, podcasts or radio shows in the car that can help with your lesson planning. If you have to prepare a new novel, your first read-through can be the audiobook version. You can tell if you like the novel without investing the time at home. Many public libraries offer free audiobooks through a phone app called Libby.
- Do not make a special trip to get gas. Select one day each week that you will fill up your gas tank on the way to or from school. I cannot tell you how many times, before I started using this trick, that I arrived home only to have to go out after dinner because my gas tank was empty.
- Set a timer on your cell phone for each task you want to complete. Challenge yourself to meet that time goal. Also set an alarm for 10 minutes before you want to leave school each day. This will be a reminder to pack up and go to the restroom before your commute home.
- Work through lunches – now I know this sounds counterintuitive to self-care, but I try to eat at my desk and get caught up on emails, quick marking and any other administrative stuff. Then I can use my planning period to assess student work. I make a plan to eat lunch with my colleagues at least once a week.
- Over the years I have shared many teacher life hacks for saving time at school. I collected them all in this blog post The Best of Teacher Life Hacks – School Edition.
- Spend one morning or a day after school making all of the copies you need for the following week or unit. I usually would pick a Friday afternoon right after school – when everyone else was rushing out the door – I would use the photocopiers and make all the copies I need for whatever unit I was teaching. This saved me so much time running to the copy machine every day and waiting for my colleagues to finish.
- Lunch Size Crock Pot – Stop standing in line at the microwave. Last year I switched to using this mini Crock-Pot at school and I love it! A few years ago a teacher in my building introduced me to this product. I had no idea they existed. Now I can heat up my lunch directly in my classroom.
- Grade your students in a more efficient manner using self-marking Google Forms or these Quick Assessment Tips Version 1 or Version 2. In this non-fiction articles resource, I have included self-marking Google Forms for each article. I used these with my own class and it cut down on my marking significantly.
In The Kitchen
- Batch cook all your lunches on Sunday. This could be using your slow cooker or Instant Pot – or creating mason jar salads or sandwiches. Anything you can batch prep to get ready for the week will save you precious time on your weeknight evenings. I pack all snacks and lunches on Sunday so all I have to do is grab and go during the school week.
- I share more time-saving tips in this blog post The Best of Teacher Life Hacks – Home Edition.
Slow Cooker – I love using a slow cooker to prepare meals. These meals are truly “set it and forget it”. A quick search on Pinterest yields tons of possible recipes for your family. Using a slow cooker saves you time and money.
Instant Pot – The Instant Pot is the most versatile tool in my kitchen. Once you have mastered the slow cooker you need to get an Instant Pot. You prepare all your ingredients and then dump them into the pot. Once the cooker pressurizes your food is done in less than 20 minutes for most recipes. I search Pinterest and Google to find recipes that suit my family.
Air Fryer – I just discovered this kitchen gem in the summer of 2020. I kept seeing people on Instagram make these delicious meals using their air fryer so I used my rewards points to treat myself to this new tool. I love cooking vegetables in the air fryer. There are also entire cookbooks devoted to the air fryer. Pinterest is my go-to spot for any recipes that I might need.
I hope you can use some of these teacher time-saving tips to free up some time for self-care.