Teaching is demanding, and finding ways to save time can be a game-changer. It’s probably a top priority for so many primary school teachers – Show me the BEST time-saving hacks!
One of our mottoes here at Rainbow Sky HQ is “Let’s work SMARTER and not harder” – and we want to help you do exactly that!
When you see ‘time-saving’, you probably think we have put together ideas you have heard and seen before. But not today – we wanted to collate some strategies that aren’t ‘commonly used time savers’.
So, get ready to breeze through your day with ease as we explore these out-of-the-box time-saving hacks and dive into practical ways to implement them into your teacher life:
Google Keep for Quick Notes
How it works: Google Keep is a versatile note-taking app. To use it effectively, create specific labels or categories for different types of notes, like “lesson ideas,” “to-do lists,” or “student feedback.” Here’s how you can benefit:
- Instant Capture: Whenever an idea or task pops into your head, open Google Keep on your phone or computer and jot it down in the relevant category. No more searching for misplaced sticky notes!
- Colour Coding: Assign different colours to your notes for quick visual organisation. For instance, red for urgent tasks and green for lesson ideas.
- Checklists: Create to-do lists for daily or weekly tasks. As you complete each task, simply check it off.
How it works: Voice-to-text technology lets you speak into your device’s microphone and convert your speech into text. Here’s how teachers can use it:
- Efficient Typing: Instead of typing lengthy emails, lesson plans, or feedback, use voice-to-text software or apps like Google’s voice typing feature. Speak clearly, and the tool will transcribe your words into text.
- Editing Ease: Quickly edit and refine the transcribed text, saving time compared to starting from scratch.
- Multitasking: Use voice-to-text when your hands are full, such as when setting up a classroom or organising materials.
Harness the Power of AI
How it works: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be your secret weapon for time-saving. Currently, our go-to AI tool is Chat GPT. Here’s how you can integrate AI into your teaching routine:
- Save time on paperwork: Use AI to help you plan scope and sequences, record lesson plans or even write risk assessments. All you need to do is give it the relevant information and revise it afterwards.
- Teacher assistant: Use AI as your own personal assistant. It can help with ideas for anything and everything, such as: writing a script for a school assembly, coming up with an art lesson idea, writing math word problems, writing reading passages and comprehension questions. The list is endless.
- Personalised Learning: AI-driven learning platforms analyse student data or teaching outcomes to create tailored learning paths. This means you can address individual learning needs without hours of manual assessment.
- Virtual Teaching Assistants: Some AI tools act as virtual teaching assistants, helping with administrative tasks like scheduling, reminders, and even lesson planning.
Online Calendar Reminders
How it works: Most online calendar applications, such as Google Calendar, offer reminder features. Here’s how to use them effectively:
- Set Up Recurring Reminders: Create recurring reminders for routine tasks like taking attendance, doing yard duty, or submitting reports. Specify the frequency and time of day you want to be reminded.
- Customise Notifications: Choose how you want to be notified—through email, pop-up notifications, or even SMS. This ensures you won’t miss important deadlines or events.
- Colour-Code Events: Use different colours for various types of reminders, making it easy to identify them at a glance.
QR Code Resources
How it works: QR (Quick Response) codes are like digital shortcuts that lead to specific online resources. Teachers can use them as follows:
- Resource Access: Create QR codes that link to websites, videos, PDFs, or other online resources relevant to your lessons.
- Print and Share: Print these QR codes and place them around your classroom, in textbooks, or on assignments. When students scan the code with a mobile device, they can access the associated resource instantly.
- Homework Support: Include QR codes on homework assignments that lead to explanatory videos or additional practice materials. It’s a convenient way to provide extra support.
Automated Parent Communication
How it works: Streamline communication with parents using automation tools like MailMerge in Google Docs:
- Template Creation: Create templates for common messages like weekly newsletters, event reminders, or progress updates.
- Personalisation: Use placeholders in your templates to insert personalised details, like student names or specific dates.
- Bulk Emailing: Once your templates are set up, use MailMerge to send these emails to multiple recipients with just a few clicks.
- Time-Saving: You can send tailored messages to parents without spending hours on individual emails.
Spotify for Lesson Playlists
How it works: Spotify is a music streaming platform. Teachers can use it to set the tone and enhance the learning experience:
- Playlist Creation: Create playlists for different classroom activities like morning routines, quiet reading time, or energising brain breaks.
- Curate Appropriate Music: Choose music that suits the mood and purpose of each activity—for instance, instrumental music for focused work or lively tunes for physical education.
- Easy Playback: With your playlists ready, simply press play to set the atmosphere without the hassle of searching for individual tracks.
(Side note: One of our favourite Spotify playlists is Classical Piano Covers).
By implementing these time-saving ideas, primary school teachers can make their daily routines more efficient, allowing them to focus on what truly matters—providing the best education for their students.
Hang on, before you click away… do you ever wish you had more hours in your teacher day?
Teacher life can be hectic, so we have put together our 8 top tips to save you some precious time in your week. The best part is, it is completely FREE!
Sign up here for your free guide that has easy to implement teacher time-saving tips for ANY early years or primary years teacher.
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