Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Productivity Tips for Teachers: Empower Your Teaching

Be the best teacher ever this year with these productivity tips you can put into practice starting today!

Are you a middle school math teacher looking to supercharge your productivity? You’re in luck! In this blog post, we’re going to dive into eight invaluable productivity tips for middle school math teachers. Whether you’re overwhelmed with grading, planning, or classroom management, these tips will help you reclaim your time and boost your efficiency. Let’s get started!

Productivity Tip #1: Incorporate Daily To-Do Lists

Picture this: Your day as a middle school math teacher begins with a clear plan in hand. You’re on a mission to seize every teaching moment efficiently. How do you do it? Start by crafting a daily to-do list. It’s your trusty sidekick in the battle against chaos.

Daily planning is on my list of productivity tips because it helps you manage your time each and every day.

Now, you might be wondering, “Should I scribble it down in a good old-fashioned paper planner or go digital?” The choice is yours, really. Some teachers prefer the tactile feel of a physical planner, while others opt for the convenience of digital tools. Whichever you pick, the goal remains the same: to create a roadmap for your day.

Your to-do list helps you prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadlines. It’s like having an accountability partner that keeps you on track, ensuring you tackle your tasks head-on and resist the siren call of distractions. So, go ahead, create your daily plan, and confidently step into your day with one of the more important productivity tips!

Productivity Tip #2: Maximize Your Prep Time

Let’s chat about planning and prep time. It’s your precious resource in the teaching world that you always want to keep safe. Here’s the thing, though: it’s a double-edged sword. It’s oh-so-easy to get caught up in social chats or pesky distractions during this golden period of time. But, my friend, it’s crucial to maximize every minute.

Maximizing your prep time by making the most of it will help you in the long run and is one of my favorite productivity tips.

So, how do you master this art? First, give yourself permission for a short break if you need it. Sometimes, a quick breath of fresh air or a quick check-in with your go-to supporter is all you need. Here’s the catch – set a timer for that quick chat or focused work. It’s like setting yourself on autopilot for productivity.

Now, what do you do during this time? Well, that’s your call. It could be tackling that pile of papers in need of grading, fine-tuning your lesson plans for the week, or getting your classroom materials in order. The key is to use your prep time efficiently, no matter what tasks are on your plate. A little structure goes a long way in boosting productivity and conquering your day!

Productivity Tip #3: Utilize Technology

Welcome to the era of technology! It’s like having a treasure chest full of digital gems at your fingertips. They’re designed to make your life as a middle school math teacher a whole lot easier. So, let’s dive right in!

Utilizing technology is one of my favorite productivity tips because it's an easy way to help you keep track of grades, assignments, and more which makes your teacher life so much easier.

First up, we have online grade books. These nifty tools handle the daunting task of grade tracking. No more wrestling with heaps of paper; it’s all neatly organized in the digital realm. Attendance, too, becomes a breeze when you let technology take the reins.

Then, there are the lesson planning apps, which are like having a personal assistant. They help you craft engaging lesson materials and organize your curriculum efficiently. You can even discover educational software that makes teaching and learning interactive and exciting.

And. . . anything that you can submit to your administration digitally means one less walk down the hall to the copier and the office. It may not seem like a lot, but unless the copy room is right next door, those minutes add up quickly.

The best part? By embracing technology, you’re not just saving time but unleashing the true power of your teaching skills. With the nitty-gritty tasks handled by these digital allies, you can channel your energy into what truly matters – teaching and inspiring your students. It’s a win-win for both you and your classroom!

Productivity Tip #4: Delegate Where Possible

Teaching is a collaborative journey. Embrace the power of delegation by assigning tasks that others can manage efficiently. Whether it’s crafting engaging worksheets, organizing classroom activities, or overseeing students during specific periods, sharing responsibilities is a game-changer.

But here’s where you can take it to the next level. Ask yourself: are there any tasks you can kind of ‘automate’ or involve your students in? This simple question can lead to a remarkable transformation in your teaching routine.

Create a list of daily classroom tasks that are essential. Think about whether there are ways to automate them or if your students can lend a hand.

One quick example is the morning attendance ritual. I devised a clever strategy to streamline the process and ensure you remember to enter attendance on the computer during homeroom. I had my students sign in on a clipboard at the beginning of class. That way, when I returned to my desk, I just needed to check the list, verify who was present, and enter it into the computer.

I could have even taken it a step further by making it a classroom job for a responsible student. They could be in charge of getting the attendance list at a specific time, gently reminding students to sign in, verifying the list, and then handing it off to me.

This brings us to the heart of the matter: delegating tasks to your students is one of the most beneficial productivity tips. It’s not just about teamwork with your colleagues. It’s also about utilizing the power of your young learners. By involving your students in classroom tasks, you help to nourish a sense of responsibility. The added bonus is that it frees up your valuable time to concentrate on other parts of your job.

Not sure about this? Set that hesitation aside. Our primary and elementary counterparts have been doing this for years. Even the youngest of learners are given class jobs to help keep the gears of the classroom moving smoothly.

Productivity Tip #5: Take Short Breaks

Next up on the list of productivity tips is something we all love – short breaks. Teaching is no cakewalk. It’s demanding and can be a whirlwind of constant activity. That’s where these quick respites come to the rescue, and they’re more powerful than you might think.

Picture this: you’re in the midst of a busy day, lessons flying, and papers piling up. Your brain’s in overdrive, and you’re feeling a bit like a hamster on a wheel. It’s time for a breather.

You don’t need to go on an epic journey, but a short break will do the trick. Stepping away from your desk or classroom for a few minutes can work wonders. It’s hitting the reset button for your brain. Just like we build in brain breaks for our students, we should build in brain breaks for ourselves.

So, what’s on the menu for these mini-vacations? Well, it could be a brisk walk around the school. Fresh air, a change of scenery, and a moment to stretch your legs – it’s a recipe for rejuvenation.

Perhaps you’re more of a coffee enthusiast. A quick coffee break can do the trick. That steamy cup of Joe is like a shot of motivation, ready to get you back in the game.

Now, here’s the catch – and it’s a crucial one. Set yourself a timer. Yes, I’m talking about self-discipline. These breaks are meant to be short and sweet, not a journey to Narnia. A timer ensures you don’t get lost in the abyss of distractions and get back to your tasks on time.

Breaks clear your mind, recharge your energy, and make you more productive. It’s pressing pause on the chaos and then hitting play with a fresh perspective. Just keep that timer handy to steer clear of offroading adventures!

Productivity Tip #6: Set Clear Goals

I have another productivity tip that will truly supercharge your productivity: set goals. They’re like your personal guiding stars in the teaching universe.

Your teaching day can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of to-dos. Goals are your anchor. They can be your daily missions, your weekly quests, or your long-term adventures.

Why are they such a big deal? Well, having clear objectives gives you purpose and keeps you on the right track.

When you set goals, you’re essentially telling your brain, “Hey, this is what we’re aiming for.” It’s an instant motivation boost. You wake up knowing exactly what you’re working towards.

Plus, goals are your trusty sidekicks in task management. With those objectives in mind, you can effortlessly prioritize what needs to be done. It’s like having a built-in task organizer.

So, set those goals, whether it’s getting through your daily lesson plan, achieving a weekly teaching milestone, or planning the entire quarter or semester. They’ll give you direction, help you make the most of your time, and keep you fired up to conquer your teaching adventures.

Productivity Tip #7: Use a Planner

A trusty sidekick that every middle school math teacher should have in their toolkit – a planner.

I’ll be honest with you: during my teaching career, especially in the middle or towards the end of the school year, my planner seemed oddly empty. I used to reassure myself that it was fine because I had everything planned out in my head, and I knew what I was doing. And truth be told, I did.

But here’s the twist – the more time I took to jot down my plans in my planner, the smoother my days went. It was a magic wand for organization and my mindset.

Now, add the role of being a busy mom into the mix, and things get even more exciting. I had a whole bunch of personal commitments to track. So, I decided to get a bit creative. For a while, I had separate pages in my planner dedicated to family events, apart from my school-related plans. But ultimately I found that putting everything in the same place allowed me to keep it all straight. School meetings, soccer practice, and music lessons – all in one place. I was able to quickly see the time commitments in my day and week and make decisions based on that.

It’s incredible how many options we have nowadays – from fantastic pre-made planners to the technology to craft and design our own. The key is finding one that truly works for you so that you will use it.

Planners are not just for tracking your teaching agenda. They’re your go-to for all things important. Your tasks, your deadlines, and much more. They’re the central hub for keeping your life in check.

Planners help you stay organized, ensure you never forget anything important, and are the secret to smoother, more manageable days.

Productivity Tip #8: Self-Care Matters

The last productivity tip is one we often forget but is absolutely vital: taking care of yourself as a teacher. Teaching is demanding, and it can sometimes feel like you’re juggling a thousand balls at once. That’s why self-care is important for maintaining physical and mental well-being.

Neglecting self-care is like playing with fire. It can lead to that dreaded teacher burnout, which, trust me, nobody wants. Burnout not only zaps your energy but also takes a toll on your productivity.

So, what’s the first rule of teacher self-care? It’s a simple one: prioritize sleep. Getting enough rest is recharging all of your systems. It keeps you alert during those all-important lessons, ensuring you’re at your teaching best.

It’s also about the fuel you put into your body. Eating balanced meals and staying hydrated is like putting premium gas into your teaching engine. It keeps your energy levels up and helps you power through the day.

Now, let’s talk about exercise. You might be thinking, “Who has time for a full-blown workout routine as a teacher?” I get it. Teaching is already a workout in itself. But here’s the trick – keep it simple. Even a short daily walk can do wonders. It’s hitting the reset button for your body and mind.

Here’s my golden nugget of wisdom: a healthy teacher is a productive teacher. When you take care of yourself, you’re not just preventing burnout. You’re setting yourself up for success in the classroom. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your teacher toolkit. Your students and your sanity will thank you for it.

Ready, Set, Be Productive!

As a middle school math teacher, your journey is filled with both rewarding moments and formidable challenges.

The key to thriving in this demanding profession lies in your ability to stay organized and efficient. That’s exactly what these productivity tips are here to help you achieve.

By embracing these productivity tips and seamlessly integrating them into your daily routine, you’ll unveil a newfound sense of organization and efficiency.

They’ll empower you to manage your time effectively, so you can give your best to your students without drowning in stress. It’s setting the stage for a smoother, more rewarding teaching experience.

So, what’s the ultimate goal? To become not just a teacher but a truly productive and successful educator. It’s about creating a dynamic classroom environment where both you and your students can thrive. Your future as an outstanding middle school math teacher begins here, with these strategies as your trusty companions. The journey of productivity and success in the classroom awaits, and you’re more than ready to embark on it!

Need more productivity tips? Check out the blog post for tips on How to Grade Papers More Quickly. Want to listen rather than read? Tune in to the podcast episode How to Grade Efficiently With 10 Tips!

Save the Productivity Tips for Later

Remember to save these productivity tips for teachers to your favorite Pinterest board to refer to when in search of helpful productivity tips!


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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