Advertising
Advertising

15 Clever Little Hacks That Teachers Can Use

15 Clever Little Hacks That Teachers Can Use

Teaching is a hard job. After four weeks of it, I now believe that teachers do have special talents. In these four weeks, I delivered interactive workshops to young people across the southwest of the U.K. as a mission for a startup I work for. I came across a lot of what teachers come across every day and have gathered together a list of little hacks to make their jobs a little easier.

1. It’s all in the palms.

One thing that we teach students is body language, and you will be surprised how little tweaks in the way you hold yourself impact you. Your palms can be useful if you direct them towards the people you are talking to. If you keep your hands open with palms down this helps to communicate that you are certain about what you are talking about. You can let your hands speak for you.

2. Get students engaged with technology.

Smartphones and tablets can be useful if used in moderation. We got students engaged with using Google to search for certain things on their smartphones. This went well for the students, as utilizing their web-enabled phones is something that they do in the real world. They need resources at hand, literally. Try starting off with something as simple as suggesting each student research what happened on a particular date. There are many ways to use technology in the classroom, and taking advantage of the technology they have every day (i.e. smartphones) will make a huge impact.

tumblr_n7fgokF2Ul1st5lhmo1_1280

    3. Keep your tables relevant to your subject.

    You need to keep constant relevance with your work. If you teach science, you need to immerse yourself in science.

    Advertising

    You need to create table labels with inspirations of that subject. For example, when teacing science you would have famous scientists (Einstein, Newton, Galileo) tables. For business, you would have famous entrepreneurs (Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, James Dyson).

    This will help motivate the table to work together and be inspired along the way.

    016

      4. Always keep time focused, make sure they always see a timer

      With tasks you need to replicate the real world. For tasks greater than 10 minutes, add a timer on the board. This will push them to work towards deadlines. Start this from an early age and it will be very effective for their future. When they are in jobs, they will need to be very time focused. Simply type “Timer” into Google and one will pop-up.

      Advertising

      Screenshot 2014-09-20 at 13.21.28

        5. Rules (hand in the air)

        Hands in the air is a fantastic tool for control. This may sound extremely simple, but being able to plaster your room with the rules can be a small gauge that can have massive impact.

        6. Use PicMonkey.com to create positive posters

        When you assign your students to create a poster or flyer, I would recommend using something a little different that doesn’t limit them. Free tools like PicMonkey can be very effective in coming up with beautiful designs.

        7.  Engage with your parents through email

        Use MailChimp to engage with the parents. MailChimp is a email tool that will allow you to set up a class newsletter. This is a great way to keep updating parents about important dates, homework and details. Many teachers send home notes in folders that can get lost in backpacks, or stuffed in pockets and run through the washer. Ensure the parents get their notes by putting them right in their email inbox.

        Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 11.38.47 AM

          8. Make a student opportunity board

          Organize one side of your wall to be a space for students to collaborate and promote opportunities to each other, like a community board. This will give students the chance to see key opportunities and dates to change their lives. This can also be a great way to engage with motivation posters (if you are so bold).

          Advertising

          9. Inspire the entrepreneurs–the sweet sellers

          If you find sweets and price tags in a student’s bag, don’t get mad straight away. Instead, call them aside after the lesson and chat with them about how they won’t be able to sell sweets anymore, but they could run a new project/small business of their choice that is within the school boundaries. This will excite them and kick off their entrepreneurial side in a more valuable way.

          10.  Visualize the mission–use cool software

          Screenshot 2014-09-22 at 22.33.25

            There are so many great tools out there where you can visualize and map a class’s progress or the tasks over the week. One that I’ve found success with is Casual. It’s a nifty website that will allow you to organize events, dates and more. Try it out; it will impress you and get you organized.

            11. Use Evernote + their email feature

            Evernote is another one of those cool tools on the web and accessible on smartphones and tablets. Spread the word to your students. This will be a useful center for sending them information to work on and edit right away, like an on-the-go portfolio. See the Emailing guide from Evernote for more information.

            12. Use Noisedown app

            There is an app called Noisedown that helps monitor the decibels (sound) within the room. If the sound goes over its limit, it will alert the class that the noise is getting too loud and that they should lower the volume. It is very interactive for the students, as it becomes a “mini-mission” for them to work together to keep it below the alert tone. The app is free and easy to download.

            Advertising

            13. Velcro on the carpet

            enhanced-buzz-452-1407428130-23

              I found this tip on BuzzFeed. Velcro on carpets will help to distinguish seating positions, a great and cheap way to keep order. You can also place Velcro on the carpet, have the children stand in a circle, and use different colors to divide the children into groups (all blues together, all greens together, etc.).

              14. Start with a joke

              To help keep your students engaged, get a book of jokes. Read one aloud to your class every morning, or ask for your students to share their (clean and appropriate) jokes. Start the day with laughter and see the results.

              Check out these jokes if you need suggestions: http://www.prongo.com/jokes/index.asp.

              15. End with a quote

              Have a quote book and do the same. This is an awesome way to inspire the students before they head towards home.

              To get you started, here is a great resource for finding inspirational quotes: http://www.inspirational-quotes.info

              Featured photo credit: the map/Sylwia Bartyzel via unsplash.imgix.net

              More by this author

              8 Apps to use in Summer 2016 11 Tools for Productive Individuals 52 Inspiring Quotes for Aspiring Leaders 15 Creative Tips and Resources to Efficiently Memorize Vocab How Google Calendar Can Make Your Life a Lot Easier

              Trending in Productivity

              1 15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done 2 50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success 3 How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques 4 15 Inspiring Journal Ideas to Set You up for Success 5 11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on September 18, 2019

              15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

              15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

              You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

              Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

              A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

              Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

              So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

              1. Purge Your Office

              De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

              Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

              Advertising

              Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

              2. Gather and Redistribute

              Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

              3. Establish Work “Zones”

              Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

              Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

              4. Close Proximity

              Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

              5. Get a Good Labeler

              Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

              6. Revise Your Filing System

              As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

              Advertising

              What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

              Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

              • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
              • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
              • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
              • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
              • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
              • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
              • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

              Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

              7. Clear off Your Desk

              Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

              If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

              8. Organize your Desktop

              Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

              Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

              Advertising

              Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

              9. Organize Your Drawers

              Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

              Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

              10. Separate Inboxes

              If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

              11. Clear Your Piles

              Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

              Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

              12. Sort Mails

              Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

              Advertising

              13. Assign Discard Dates

              You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

              Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

              14. Filter Your Emails

              Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

              When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

              Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

              15. Straighten Your Desk

              At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

              Bottom Line

              Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

              Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

              More Organizing Hacks

              Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

              Read Next