13 Teaching Hacks: Tips to Make a Teacher's Life Easier

08. Jul 2019 | Sandra Friis Asmussen

Simple solutions to everyday problems can be called “life hacks”. When it comes to simple solutions for teachers, we call them “teacher hacks”. We asked some teachers about their favourite hacks, and you can read their tips below.

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1. End your lessons with an educational carrot

How about starting the lesson with a promise to spend the last few minutes on a fun activity? Here is an example:

  • Start a competition, like a word game, in which the students compete every week/day during the last two minutes of the lesson. Keep the competition running all year, and find a winner before the summer holidays.

2. Create a QR code with your contact information

Create a free QR code with your contact information, and hang it on the wall during parent and visitor events at the school. That way, visitors can quickly get hold of your contact information. Try it here »

3. Control the noise in the classroom

Use an app such as Noise Down to control the sound level. When the noise level becomes too high, an alarm goes off.

4. Get inspiration for your lessons

Use TED-Ed lessons! The videos are a great way to add depth and new perspectives to a given topic. You can explore TED-Ed lessons here »

5. Introduce a symbol system

To have better control of the class, you can introduce a system of symbols to make it easier to keep track of the class discussions. Use the ones below, or come up with your own!

teaching hacks

6. Use peer review as part of the process

Why not make use of your students’ skills and good ideas? Giving and providing feedback is an excellent way of learning that your students can integrate into their daily routine. Adopting the habit requires thorough prior instruction and exercises in class, but it pays off in the form of strong feedback skills and more varied teaching.
Feedback is also a great tool for working with written assignments, for example.

7. Make a jar with extra tasks

It can be challenging to hold the attention of students who tend to finish individual assignments before the rest of the class. At the beginning of the year, make a jar or a Google Docs document with short, relevant tasks that the students can choose from and work with while the rest of the class finish their assignments.

8. “Ask me”

Choose one student to be the “Ask me” student. Students can ask questions to the “Ask me” student while you are busy helping others in class.

Teaching hacks

9. Inspire your class with a quote

It can be a brilliant idea to end the day with an inspirational quote. The internet is full of good quotes to choose from. You can even do different themes each week.

teaching hacks

10. Unleash your creativity

Give your presentations and teaching a boost with great pictures! The internet is full of free pictures – it’s just about knowing where to look. You can, for example, find inspiration here »

11. Monitor your students’ workflow

When your students work individually in the classroom, you can give them different-coloured post-its or stickers to let you know how the task is going. That way, quieter students do not have to be put in an unpleasant situation, and nobody will think it is embarrassing to ask for help. It also keeps the noise level at a minimum.

teaching hacks

12. Ready, set, go!

Keep students motivated and focused by using a visible stopwatch or countdown timer when they are assigned tasks that take more than 10 minutes. There are plenty of free services, so all it takes is a Google search for “timer” or “stopwatch”.

13. Have a good laugh

Start the day with a joke! It may sound simple, but for many students, humour strengthens their engagement. And we cannot ignore the fact that the best days are those that start with a laugh.

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