Always start on time
Some of us have a habit of starting late because we’re busy putting final touches on the lesson, writing on the board, or simply waiting around for the rest of the students to show up after the bell rings.
Always start class on time and do not wait for tardy students. Those who show up on time shouldn’t have to wait for those that don’t. As an incentive to get your students to class on time, begin your lessons with something they won’t want to miss.
Be more efficient about taking attendance
There are a couple ways to streamline your attendance-taking procedures.
One way is to have a sign-in sheet ready every day. Instead of taking attendance yourself, have students sign themselves in. Another idea: Stand outside the door and check off names as students trickle into the room. We like doing this not only because it saves us time, but also because it gives us the opportunity to greet each student as s/he enters the room.
Use technology to get organized
There are lots of useful apps for teachers out there, but Teacher Kit has, by far, saved us the most time. This app helps us create seating charts, take attendance, track student behavior, record grades, and import all of our data to our computer.
To get a better sense of how Teacher Kit works, check out the tutorial video below:
Set up a system for makeup work
With increasing class sizes, chances are that one or two students will be absent every week. Unless you have some sort of system in place, you’re probably spending valuable class time explaining what these students missed once they return. There are a couple reasons you should stop doing this! First, it’s unfair to those students who came to class. Second, it keeps students from taking responsibility for their own learning experience.
Instead of spending class time explaining what these students missed, have them email or call you on the day they are absent to receive updates. While you won’t be able to recreate the classroom experience over the phone or computer, you can ensure that they have all of the materials to successfully complete the work.
Make the most of classroom interruptions
Although we have yet to find a way to eliminate interruptions (special deliveries of forgotten lunches, notes from the office, or incoming calls on the classroom phone), we do make the most of them.
Some interruptions take ten seconds, others may take ten minutes, but one thing is for sure: If you add those seconds and minutes up over the course of the week, you get a lot of wasted time.
One way to take advantage of these interruptions is by teaching your students to get out their books as soon as an interruption occurs. Teach your students that a knock on the door or a ring from the classroom telephone isn’t a signal for them to chat; it’s a signal for them to reach into their desks, grab their book and start reading. If you start this procedure right away, your students will quickly internalize it.