Time-saving tips for teachers

Being a teacher is time-consuming! A lot goes on behind the scenes and managing your time effectively is essential in this job. Here are some tips on how you can save some time and maintain a work-life balance.

 

Plan ahead

Don’t ever plan lesson to lesson. Plan for the whole week (or month if you can). If you can’t prepare full lessons in advance, at least outline what topics and activities you might do with each class this week or month. By having a clear plan, you can avoid wasting time trying to figure out what to do next. 

You can go a step further and outline the whole course. Check out this pack for tips and guidelines on how to create a course syllabus.

 

Set a time limit 

Preparing lessons probably takes up the majority of your time. Have you heard of Parkinson’s law? Preparing lessons will take you exactly as long as you will allow for it. So set yourself a time limit for planning lessons. Allow some time every week or month for planning lessons and keep to the schedule. It might be difficult at first, especially if you want them to be perfect (read the next point). But you will get there eventually.

 

Stop perfectionism

It’s impossible to prepare a perfect lesson or find a perfect activity. Something will always go wrong. So why waste time trying to be perfect? Your students are there to learn English. And if you make that your goal while preparing lessons, they will always be effective. Effective is far more important than perfect! If you try to plan a perfect lesson every time, you will eventually burn out. Work with what you have.

 

Group planning similar lessons

Prepare lessons with the same level or theme at the same time. Kids with kids, adults with adults, business with business, etc. Your brain won’t have to constantly switch between different types of activities. 

 

Warmers for a week

Prepare one or two warmers and revision activities that you can use for the whole week with different groups and levels. If you’re not using warmers yet, read why you should start. You can find a lot of ready-to-use warmers for different levels in our shop here.

 

Don’t personalise (too much)

If you run individual lessons, you’ve probably heard that you should personalise them for each student. And that’s great and we agree. But! Don’t try to personalise each lesson every time. You will burn out quickly (unless you have only one or two lessons each week).

What can you do instead?

  • Alternate between lessons that are more generic and those more personalised for each student.
  • Allow only part of each lesson to do activities prepared especially for this one student.

 

One for many

Have a selection of ready-to-use materials that you can use with many groups at different levels. If you reuse the same materials, you don’t have to spend time looking for new activities and then even more time trying to figure out how to use them. If you’ve used any of our materials, you know how versatile they are. You can use them with many different groups and levels in many different ways.

 

Delegate work to your students

Don’t do everything yourself. Get your students to do some of the work for you:

  • Correcting tests 
  • Preparing vocabulary lists
  • Preparing games

Check out this article for more tips and ideas on what work you can delegate to your students.

 

Get organised

Organise your files and materials so that you always know where everything is and you can find it quickly. Organise it in a way that suits you best. Make separate files for each level, but also have folders for general resources and activities that you can use with any group. 

 

Learn to say no 

As a teacher, you will be asked to take on many different responsibilities and tasks. While it is important to be supportive and helpful, it is also important to learn to say no when you are feeling overwhelmed.

 

Prioritise self-care 

Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining your energy and motivation as a teacher. This means making time for exercise, relaxation, and other activities that you enjoy. By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to manage your time and stay focused on your work.

 

We hope that by following these tips, you can save time as a teacher and focus on what really matters: providing a quality education for your students!

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