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productivity, teachers, K-12 education, time-management

Teachers are always asking me how do I get more time and stop being so overwhelmed by everything we are required to do during the school day. It is one of the top reasons for Teacher Burnout and that teachers are walking away in droves. In case you missed it, have you heard about the Great Teacher Resignation? Teacher vacancies have doubled here in South Carolina since last year at this time.

Every week, I host a Free Professional Development Workshop on the Clubhouse app. If you haven’t heard of Clubhouse, it is a social audio app – just imagine a podcast and a Zoom Workshop had a baby. You have hosts (called moderators) and anyone can join the room in the audience and come up to speak on the “stage” to share their ideas and ask questions.

This week on Clubhouse, my club Teacher Talk! hosted a one hour discussion which turned out to be a Masterclass in ways to be more PRODUCTIVE at school. Here is a link to the Teacher Talk! Club – join so that you don’t miss our weekly rooms –

Here are the Top 5 strategies and tips from teachers and administrators across the country:

  1. Set up a Homework Grading System Use a Clipboard and Spreadsheet to speed up grading and managing homework assignments. Have a chart/spreadsheet with your roster and spaces for all of the days in the quarter. Each day, write the date and a brief description of the assignment at the top of the column and then walk around and check the student’s homework – for my system, I graded for completion – a check if it was finished, .5 if partially completed, and 0 if not finished. They got up to 5 points for each homework assignment as a separate category in their total 9 weeks grade.
  2. Student Check-in System Use a spreadsheet with your roster and have categories on top for different types of engagement with students and a place for notes at the end. This way during the week you can quickly look at the page and see if you haven’t interacted with a student and see the ones you need to focus on before the end of the week.
  3. Planning your Day It is it is important to know when you are when you have that boost of energy when you’re more have more energy, more focus, because then you can intentionally plan the activities and the tasks that you have to get done during the day at the most optimal time for your bodies energy levels and when you are most productive. During those times when you know that you’re more productive. I know I am more focused in the morning,  so I try to schedule the tasks that take the most brainpower in the mornings. For example, if I’m working on budgeting are working on amendments or plans or any kind of task that really take a lot of brainpower I try to schedule in the mornings. And then if I have a choice for times for scheduling meetings, I like to do those in the afternoons when people are more relaxed. 
  4. Only Schedule 3 Hard Tasks per Day We need to spread out difficult task throughout the week so we don’t overwhelm ourselves. As a classroom teacher, you have certain tasks that have to be completed each week – like lesson planning, grading papers, copying, tidying up your classroom, taking out and putting away classroom materials, contacting parents, creating newsletters, updating your class page on your school website, etc. In my planner or To-Do list, I scheduled no more than 3 of these types of tasks a day. With lesson planning, I recommend spreading that over the week. (I’ll do a post soon just on tips for lesson planning.) If you would like a copy of the Teacher’s To-Lists and Journal, go to this link on Amazon to purchase it – 
  5. Plan with others Planning your lessons with other teachers on you grade level team is another way to be more productive in several ways. 1. If you teach all subjects at your grade level, you can divide up the subjects among the teachers on your team and each one plan for a different subject. This saves so much time each week. 2. If you teach the same subject, you can all decide together which activities and even plan to give the same assignments and tests so that all students are having the same learning experience. Each teacher can be responsible for different aspects of the lessons for the week and you can rotate who plans which part of the lesson. 
I hope you find these tips useful in helping you save time and be more productive during your school day. Saving 30 minutes a day on tasks that you have to get done every week adds up to 5400 minutes or 90 hours during the school year. Every minute counts! I want to give specials thanks to Dr. Mina Jo Blazy and Saki Milton for contributing to the tips that I shared today. You can connect with Mina at and Saki at
 Don’t forget to join the Teacher Talk! Club on Clubhouse and join us every week on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm ET to get more inspiration and ideas to make your teacher life better.

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