10 Ways to Speed up a Teachers' Day

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. Specifically:

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 tight ship.


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.

Miscellaneous Advice

  • 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.