As a teacher, you almost always have something that needs to be done. Whether it’s grading, making a lesson plan, or gathering materials, there are a seemingly endless number of tasks to complete; as a result, many educators are continuously looking for ways to become more efficient and productive in order to maintain a good work-life balance and get as much done as possible. Here are some suggestions for how educators might go about making their everyday lives more productive.
- Make a plan and stick to it
It can be easy to spend hours every night grading papers or lose an entire weekend planning. If you create a schedule and consistently follow it, you can cut down on the number of hours you spend on work and make the time more productive. There are many programs you can use to help you efficiently manage your time, or you can try time blocking or prioritized lists if you prefer a more physical medium.
- Stagger the work you assign
While it’s obviously necessary to assign students enough work to help them learn the material, it’s also important to take your own schedule and availability into account when preparing assignments. If you stagger work that needs to be graded carefully throughout the week you are less likely to need to spend every night marking papers. This can also be helpful for your students if they have a particularly heavy workload in other classes at specific times.
- Streamline what you can
Many repetitive tasks in the classroom can be streamlined. For example, if you have the budget, consider investing in stamps so that you can efficiently make comments on students’ work instead of writing the same thing over and over. Make templates for emails or assignments that frequently reoccur. Also, consider borrowing materials from your colleagues or using free materials available online to lighten your workload.
Teaching is often an incredibly stressful profession with an ever-mounting number of tasks to complete. However, if you take the time to carefully plan and streamline your schedule you can help yourself be more efficient and productive, allowing you to keep more time for yourself.