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5 Time Saving Hacks for Teachers



There is no doubt that teaching can be a difficult job. In particular, it can be very time consuming. As I mentioned in my previous blog (Here), I have many teacher friends that find themselves working late into the night and on weekends too. 



Over the years I have managed to pick up a few tips here and there that have helped me save some precious time, so in this blog post I will share five of my favorite hacks!



  1. Try to only assign meaningful homework

Most teachers spend a great deal of time grading. This can be particularly time consuming if you are teaching larger classes or any kinds or writing classes. My suggestion is to give less homework. This is not to say you shouldn’t give homework, but give homework that is important to the progress of the class or learners and no more. The students will probably appreciate it and you might find yourself doing less grading.



  1. Get organized – get a grading folder

I am probably not the most organized of teachers, but this little tip has saved me a lot of time. I now keep one folder with a list of each class in it. Next to the list of names there is a checklist for all the work I will be assigning during that semester. If I need to know if a learner in any of my classes has not submitted a piece of work, all the information I need is in one place.



  1. Get organized – arrange your desktop folders

This is a simple but useful one I learned from a co-worker. I keep all my materials for one class in a folder on my PC. I also back this up on my hard drive. This gives the appearance that I am well organized. However, once I opened the folder, I didn’t really have a system for arranging files. I would name them something like this, “Writing assignment – A person I admire”. This was fine when each folder only had a few files, but became frustrating as I added more. To make it much easier to find a document, I simply added the week number at the start. For example, “1. Writing assignment – A person I admire”. Each file became much easier to find.



  1. Time yourself

This is another little tip I picked up from a colleague that helps you maintain awareness while you are grading. If you are anything like me, once you start to grade a big pile of papers, you start to lose yourself and the track of time. To make sure you don’t lose track of time, simply set an alarm. If it usually takes you 10 minutes to grade a paper, set your alarm for 10 minutes. If you are only halfway through when the bell rings, you have probably been procrastinating too much and it is a reminder to keep moving on.



  1. Set yourself limits

I like to use video in my class as I feel it can really add a new dimension. However, I have found myself spending hours on YouTube searching for that perfect example. Once I start, I can’t stop looking in pursuit of the video that will perfectly compliment what I’m teaching. Again, I decided to set myself a time limit. Once that time limit is up, I go with the best video I have come across.



Do you have any different ways of saving time? If you do, please feel free to share them. Also, if you are looking to save some time making a name card for your learners; please check out this blog post. Click here

Neil Millington

Neil Millington

Neil Millington has taught English as a foreign language in Japan for over 12 years. He has taught a wide range of age levels from pre-kindergarten students to adults. He is currently teaching at the tertiary level. He earned his BA at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and his MA in TESOL at Lancaster University, England. Currently, Neil is working on his PhD in language learning motivation also at Lancaster University. Neil is also the co-founder of, an English reading website with hundreds of free lessons for teachers and learners.
Neil Millington

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