Six smart teaching hacks for a happy classroom

Whether you are a born teacher or someone who has had to work hard to learn how to be the best teacher that you can be, it is always useful to work out and trial some new teaching hacks, which will help your classroom run a little smarter and your day run a little smoother.

1. Post a to-do list at the beginning of every class

Prevent constant disruption with students finishing assignments at different times by starting every class with a to-do list that is visible to everyone in the class. Students can then work through the list on their own without constantly having to let you know that they are finished and need more work.

2. Mark your classroom supplies

You can buy colour coded stickers or mark supplies with paint or permanent marker so that students will always remember to return them at the end of class.

3. Give every student a personal number

Give each student a personal number which correlates to their position on the register. They can write this number at the top of each assignment and you will be able to put them in order for ease of marking grades later.

4. Bring the smartphone into the classroom

Students are going to bring their smartphones into the classroom with them whether they are allowed to or not. Why not take advantage of this by allowing them to use their smartphones to do a little research at the start of each class, then present their findings later? It’s a great way to keep them engaged.

5. Silently note disruptive students with stickers or post it notes

For particularly disruptive students, place stickers or post its onto the board at the head of class (say, three per disruptive student). Only you and the student knows what they are for and you can silently note disruptive behaviour by removing a sticker each time. It keeps the student in check without having to disrupt the class further.

6. Use symbols to note students that are struggling

At the beginning of the year, offer a symbol that students can use in their assignments if they are struggling (a star, for example). This allows students to place this symbol throughout their work in the places that they find difficult, helping you to understand which bits are working well and which aren’t, and allowing you to offer more help to those that need it in a way which doesn’t force them to speak out in front of the class.

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