7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Valuable Time

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time

Teachers have so little time during the school day, and yet taking work home every night sure gets old. My blogging friends and I have come together to give you our best tips for increasing teacher productivity and saving your valuable time. You have probably heard the saying, “Work Smarter, not Harder”, and with a little innovation, I think we can achieve that.

Keeping sub tubs helps cut down on last minute prep

Our first tip comes from Marissa at Creative Classroom Core. Her all time favorite teacher productivity hack involves the creation of “Sub Tubs”. Basically, a sub tub is a bin you keep in a central location in your classroom. Inside the bin is placed all of the information and activities needed for a sub to come in and teach your classroom for a week. Sub tubs are lifesavers for days when emergencies pop up that you are unable to plan for. Marissa strongly believes that having some ready-to-teach lessons already prepared helps take away so much stress and allows you to focus on feeling better. For more teacher organization hacks, check out the “Effective Organization Tips for Teachers” post on the Creative Classroom Core blog!

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-SUB TUBS

One simple step to increase teacher productivity is with an organized desk!

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-DESK ORGANIZATION

Tip number two comes from Tanya Marshall, The Butterfly Teacher. If you want to increase your productivity and save time, take a critical look at your desk organization. Whether you have a huge desk or tiny one, your work area can have a pretty big impact on your efficiency. A desk piled high with supplies and paperwork not only slows you down, but also increases your stress level. Tanya believes every desk area should have the following:

  • stackable acrylic bins for vertical supply storage
  • a stylish desktop storage box with drawers
  • a stand for your lesson planner

In her post Teacher Desk Organization: Accessories and Ideas, Tanya goes into more detail about how to set up your desk for success. Having an organized work space will be a game changer with your productivity in the classroom!

Using checklists and schedules improve teacher productivity

The third tip I’ll share for teacher productivity is to use checklist and scheduling to help keep focus. As a reading specialist planning for six reading groups, tutoring sessions, and providing my teaching assistants with the tools they needed was overwhelming. It forced me to organize my time. My Sunday afternoon planning marathons really got old, so instead, I decided to create a weekly schedule and stick to it. It really helped me increase teacher productivity having a checklist. Plus, it’s quite gratifying checking off the boxes knowing you aren’t taking bags of stuff home! Am I right?? I’ll share my printable checklists at the end of the post. I hope you find them helpful in your planning and can avoid taking home loads of work.

Another helpful tip for planning…use binders with dividers by skill and keep hard copies of your graphic organizers for easy prep. If you have your checklist, then you can just grab the worksheet or project you need for printing. My reading binders are quite helpful for small group lessons.

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-PIN IMAGE

Use one minute tasks to increase teacher productivity

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-ONE MINUTE TASKS

Amber from TGIF said, “My top tip for saving time and for teacher productivity would have to be doing one-minute tasks! One-minute tasks are those mini jobs that can be accomplished in between all the busy moments. Think about all the trips you make over to students’ desks to help them with a concept. Take a file folder with you that needs to be returned to the filing cabinet. Put it in the file cabinet, and then go help that student. Have pens that need to make it back into the jar or drawer? Do it while returning to your desk between subjects. Are the math manipulatives sitting out from yesterday’s lesson? Box them back up and return them to the shelf in the one minute while your students are getting out their supplies for the math craft lesson you are going to start.

Since you now have a clean desk when your prep period starts, you might actually have time to grade those sets of papers!” The one-minute task idea is so helpful because those one-minute tasks can add up fast. Ten mini tasks will save you ten minutes during your prep period and help you get out the door ten minutes earlier at the end of the day.

Save Teaching time with formative assessments

Using the Student Parking Lot template has been a strategy that Vanessa from Longwing Learning uses to monitor her fourth graders’ learning and to receive continuous feedback. This formative assessment method helps her quickly check how well her class understands a lesson, saving her time that would otherwise be spent figuring out how to group her students in small groups. She believes in early intervention, and formative assessments like the Student Parking Lot allow her to correct any misunderstandings as her students learn new content. The Student Parking Lot is a simple yet effective routine.

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-STUDENT PARKING LOT

She introduces the student parking lot by practicing with her students at the beginning of the school year, emphasizing the importance of the routine to streamline the assessment process. Each student is assigned a number, and she uses color-coding to organize the parking lot for her different classes. The routine involves students answering questions on sticky notes, placing them in the designated parking lot, and assigning a student to collect and organize the notes daily. This routine takes less than two minutes, making it a time-efficient strategy for ongoing feedback and intervention in her classroom.

The Student Parking Lot is a simple yet effective routine. She introduces it by practicing with her students at the beginning of the school year, emphasizing the importance of the routine to streamline the assessment process. Each student is assigned a number, and she uses color-coding to organize the parking lot for her different classes. The routine involves students answering questions on sticky notes, placing them in the designated parking lot, and assigning a student to collect and organize the notes daily. This routine takes less than two minutes, making it a time-efficient strategy for ongoing feedback and intervention in her classroom.

Increase teacher productivity by organizing your mentor texts by skill

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-ORGANIZE MENTOR TEXTS BY SKILL

Planning lessons can take forever when you’re searching for the “perfect mentor text”. Instead of starting from scratch every time, Chrissy Beltran organizes her mentor texts in baskets by skill! When your mentor texts are organized into skill and strategy for reading and writing, you can plan your lessons in a snap! Identify which books you want to use as your mentor texts with this handy list. Sort them into different baskets and label each basket with the skill. Want to take it to another level and save yourself TONS of planning time? Put a sticker inside each book and use it to record the page numbers you use to teach your lessons! Learn how here and grab labels to put inside of each book. This will save you so much time! Building your mentor text collection can seem daunting when you don’t know where to start. Get a free mentor text list here and use it to organize your books for lesson planning.

Use classroom organization hacks to improve teacher productivity

Mandy Neal from Teaching With Simplicity offers 12 practical tips for maintaining an organized classroom, emphasizing establishing routines and habits. Routines turned habits include prioritizing organization, creating and following lists, designating specific places for materials, using a dedicated recycle bin for extra copies, delegating tasks to students, filing papers promptly, organizing copies by day, and maintaining a clean desk at the end of each day. These habits contribute to a more efficient and productive teaching environment. Check out these 12 simple yet effective strategies that aim to make organization a seamless part of daily classroom life and grab a free printable to-do list!

7 Organizational Tips for Increasing Teacher Productivity and Saving Time-TEACHER HACKS

uSE AN absent student file TO IMPROVE TEACHER PRODUCTIVITY

Tammy, The Owl Teacher, loves organization and feels it’s what helps keep things productive and improves classroom management. In her post, teaching hacks to get you organized, she talks about a variety of ways to keep yourself organized such as having an absent student file (which has a freebie!). She also provides tips on how to help keep your students organized such as using color-coding, creating check-lists, and so much more.

other posts on organization you might like:

Wow, I believe you’ll find loads of helpful tips for teacher productivity in what we’ve shared, and I hope as you plow through these winter months, you’ll feel good about what you’ve done at school and not at home!

Carla with Comprehension Connection
planning checklist freebie
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Share with a friend: