Being a teacher means that you have many things to juggle, and
if anything tips the scales, you may find yourself backlogged
in a hurry. There are things that you can do to make sure that
you stay on schedule, and complete tasks in a timely manner. Situations
will come up that are beyond your control, but implementing some
of these ways to speed your day will make your job as a teacher,
on the whole, a lot better.
The key to staying calm and in control is to stay organized.
Organize your room: Make sure that your room is accessible
for the materials and supplies that you need. You will feel more
in control if you can find the things that you need quickly. This
may mean a day that you set aside to organize your room by reducing
clutter, adding bins, if necessary, to store materials and supplies,
and rearranging in an effort to make your room more accessible.
Organize your students: Some teachers opt to seat children
in certain ways that make it easier to remember their names. For
instance, you might consider seating your students by last name
in alphabetical order. This will help you to be able to call on
a student correctly. During the year, if you desire, you can let
the children sit where they want because by that time you will
know them very well.
Organize your classroom operations: Plan your lessons
ahead of time, instead of putting them off until they are just
about ready to begin. Using your summer vacation is a good time
to get a jumpstart on your upcoming years' lesson plans. Have
the supplies that you need to complete lessons ready to go. Another
way to organize your classroom operations is to create lists and
charts for daily procedures, such as listing what children are
assigned to particular duties in the classroom, what the schedule
is for each day of the week, and posting what is for lunch each
day of the week so children are not constantly asking you, and
you have to dig around to find out the information. Think of other
ways that you can organize your classroom operations to run a
It is a good idea to have review activities on hand that are
ready to be used, especially if you find you have extra time in
the classroom with nothing else planned for the day. Some of these
activities might include:
- Have a rubber ball handy so that you can toss the ball to
a student and ask them something that they learned during the
lesson. When that student answers, he or she throws the ball
to another student and they have to give a fact about something
they learned, and so on. This activity works well with the students
in a circle.
- Have flashcards prepared where there is a review question
on one side and the answer on the other side. You can hold up
a flashcard and have students answer the question, or you can
reverse it and play Jeopardy, whereas you show the answer, and
the students have to come up with the right question.
- Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on a large sheet of paper. Place the
class into two teams, X and O, respectively. Throw up a coin
to decide which team gets to go first. The team that wins gets
to answer the first question. If they answer the question correctly,
they get to place an X (or O) on the grid. If they answer wrong,
play goes to the next team, and they have a chance to answer
the question correctly to place an O (or X) on the grid. Continue
play until one team answers three questions correctly and gets
three marks in a row on the grid.
- Don't work when you're tired. You are bound to make more mistakes
and have to backtrack more often.
- Let student peer-grade when appropriate. This works well on
spelling tests and vocabulary tests especially. Fully assess
your assessment strategy is it good for the kids? Is it efficient
for you? Make changes where necessary.