1. Let the students take turns doing your filing. They will learn ABC order, and you can do something else. Teach one or two students and let them teach another and so on.
2. Walk around the room and correct work during the lesson rather than doing it after school.
3. Don’t prepare so much ahead of time—let the students do their own tracing and cutting.
4. Buy punch-out letters for your bulletin board captions, or buy ready-made headliners to use as labels.
5. If you have an aide or reliable parent helper(s), decide what you want to do yourself and then delegate the other tasks.
6. Have students grade their own or each other’s papers. If you are using the writing process, peer editing fits in here.
7. Use your student room helpers efficiently. You won’t ever have to put another paper in a mailbox or water another plant.
8. Keep some personal things tucked away in your room. A soft drink and a box of crackers will get you through a lunch hour and save you from having to stay after school on a day when you must get to an important meeting or appointment.
9. Get in the habit of making double plans. If you have an art lesson every Friday, make it next Friday’s plan and then, while you are thinking about it, flip ahead in your lesson plan book and do another plan for another lesson.
10. The next time you have a staff meeting, carry along papers to grade or something to cut out while you are waiting for the meeting to begin or when there are pauses or interruptions in the proceedings. Make sure you have secure file folders to carry your papers and materials.
11. Volunteer carefully. If you are going to agree to do something that will take a lot of time, make sure it is something you really enjoy and that you can really spare the time.
12. Ask parent helpers to do things like running off sets of papers, stapling, and laminating.
13. Spend an occasional weekend day in your classroom and get completely organized for a month ahead to save time on a daily basis.
14. Pay someone to grade papers for you on an occasional or regular basis. A volunteer or assistant at your school may appreciate extra take-home work. High school students are sometimes available for this kind of work.
15. Give a daily review, including the various skills that should be reinforced for end-of-year testing. You will avoid spending a lot of time on last minute catch-up.
16. Spend the first six weeks of the year concentrating on bonding and team building with your students. You will save the time that you would otherwise spend on discipline and classroom management later in the year.
17. Use the services that are offered by library resource people. They will do research and get you information that you need.
18. If you keep your teaching project centered and do a thorough task analysis, completion of the project will show mastery of the skills embedded in the project without need for further assessment.
19. Get older students, from another classroom if necessary, to help you with everyday room cleanup.
20. Remember that time and money are interchangeable. Spend money to save time.
For more time-saving ideas to use in the classroom, check out: