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The Top 10 Teacher Time Management Tips That You’ve Been Looking For

Teachers everywhere are struggling with teacher time management. Having “enough time” seems to be the thing that everyone is chasing. 

Our culture is built around busyness with a constant focus on how to be more productive. The thing is, struggling to tackle that teacher to-do list isn’t always a productivity issue; it’s often a time management problem.

We have about 1000 tasks to do each day all while managing a classroom and, hopefully, teaching the kids something. I’m kidding. Of course, we’re teaching the kids something, right? 

All kidding aside, I’ve been asked countless times, “how do you do it all?” 

My secret? 

When I’m my best version of myself, I’m following these 10 teacher time management tips.

Blog header image of a desk flatlay that reads teacher time management tips

1. It’s A Mindset Thing

The most important thing, I would argue, to be able to do “all the things” is to actually not do “all the things.” 

Step back and reevaluate what is required of you and what’s important to you. For example, is it crucial that your bulletin board is changed a second time this month? Probably not.

2. Spend Your Time Wisely

In line with the previous tip, evaluate how you are currently spending your time. Are you using your time wisely? 

Are you spending 30 minutes on your phone during your prep time? Do you take a break after every single test that you mark? If you are, that means that these tasks are taking longer than they need to.

3. Batch Like Tasks

Batching is one of my favourite productivity tips that I picked up in the business world when working on Learn Grow Blossom. Batching is grouping like tasks together so that you don’t have to waste time and brainpower switching between tasks. 

Think of it like meal prepping. Meal prepping is doing a bunch of cooking and preparing food all at once. It’s the ultimate time-saving tip. Ideas for tasks to batch and complete together within one-time block are planning, grading, copying, prepping, etc. 

4. Use Your Prep Time

Tired of hearing this? I know, I know. Me too. 

But really, truly, how often do you use your prep time to your benefit? 

What has helped me to use these small pockets of time more efficiently is to plan for them just like I plan for a week in the classroom with my students. I have three prep blocks a week so at the beginning of the week, I decide what I will get done in each prep block. This helps me hold myself accountable.

5. Plan Before The Weekend

I used to think that I was the teacher that enjoyed planning on Sunday mornings until…  I wasn’t that teacher anymore. 

This change happened during our first shift to virtual learning. I had to plan ahead of time because it took so much time to set up. If you know, you know. 

So, starting spring of 2019, I would walk away on Fridays with everything planned and set to schedule in Google Classroom and I felt SO light. 

I knew that that was something I would continue to do moving forward. 

How do I do this? I use two of my prep blocks for planning the next week. If I don’t finish, I stay after school Thursday or Friday to get it done.

Speaking of planning… Grab the Ultimate Planning Freebie to help you organize your year, unit, and weekly plans.

We'll send you a Google Doc template for each one, along with a tutorial video on how to set up your planning system.

6. Create a Reusable Checklist Template

One of my most recent teacher time management wins is putting together checklist templates that I use again and again. This is for tasks that I need to repeat daily and/or weekly. 

These checklists help keep me on track and, most importantly, stop me from forgetting those tiny tasks. I simply put together checklists in Google Docs and print a bunch out so that I have them on hand.

7. Use Student Leaders

Remember those “tiny tasks” I was talking about? Have student leaders complete some of those tasks. You might have to let go of some control to let that happen but, I promise you, it’s worth it. It’s a total win-win because students (usually)  love to help and it teaches them important leadership skills.

Image of macbook on a bed with the the quote "the secret to doing it all... is not doing it all" as the biggest teacher time management tip

8. Pay Attention to Your Energy

It took me a few years to learn when I do my best work. I used to try to force myself to get things done after school because that’s when many teachers at my school finished their tasks. 

The problem: I am not very productive at the end of a teaching day. I am exhausted, therefore, everything takes me double the time. 

I’ve learned that I work best in the mornings so now I come into work early to complete tasks before the day starts. This allows me better teacher time management and I can leave earlier at the end of the day.

9. Work on Required Tasks, First

This tip is all about prioritizing what you work on. It’s just like we teach our students to “put first things first.” Completing required tasks like planning, grading, and prepping allows you to see how much time you have leftover. 

When that’s all done, you can then evaluate how important it is to you to do non-required tasks like changing your classroom around or updating your bulletin board.

10. Unsubscribe From Hustle Culture

If it was possible to hit UNSUBSCRIBE to hustle culture, I would encourage you all to do it, myself included. The problem in teaching is, you can hustle your heart out and there is always more you could be doing. 

There’s always more you could be doing. It’s important to do a good job for your students but that doesn’t mean that you need to run yourself into the ground. 

Did you like these tips? Want to dive deeper into teacher time management and creating balance within your professional and personal life? Click to read more about the mini-course that Katarina and I created called The Balanced Teacher Method.

It's all about helping teachers set up systems and routines to help them save time and beat burnout.

Click here to find out more about this mini-course we created to help you with teacher time management.
Amber Evancio

Amber Evancio

I'm Amber Evancio and I currently teach grade four in Northern Canada. I'm passionate about helping teachers lead their classes with efficiency and love.

Welcome!

I’m Amber Evancio and I currently teach grade four in Northern Canada. I’m passionate about helping teachers lead their classes with efficiency and love.

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