Step Two: Creating Routines for Students and Teachers

One of my motto’s in the classroom is, “The more students can do, the less I have to do.” The less I have to do, the easier it is for me to leave the classroom “on time.” How do I get them to do more? I do it through routines! Routines for turning in papers, what to do when they walk in the room, class jobs, consistent classroom schedule, coming to and leaving the whole group area, etc.

How do routines during the school day help you get home on time?

When students have a certain spot to turn in papers, you spend less time searching for papers. If you put students in charge of turning on and off technology, you are no longer spending your time doing it. If students are in charge of sharpening pencils, you will not have to use your time doing it. Bottom line, any job you give a student is a job you don’t have to spend your time doing.

You can get a full checklist of routines by downloading the Guide to Leaving the Classroom on Time at the bottom of this post!

So what kind of routines do teachers need?

As teachers, we wear so many hats! It can be challenging to decide what item on our to-do list to cross off first. One way to help with this is to create routines for ourselves. Each day during conference, I have a plan of what I’m going to do. This year I am self-contained in 3rd grade. On Monday I plan reading with my team, on Tuesdays we plan writing, on Wednesday we have PLCs, on Thursday we plan Math and Science, and on Friday we make copies for the next week. When I already have a plan of what the week will look like, I cut down on time spent deciding what to do. I create a schedule for Teachers On The Block in order to increase efficiency as well.

You can get as detailed as you need with your weekly schedule, but I tend to keep mine pretty simple. Of course there are unexpected events or paperwork which have to be taken care of immediately. But just like when a student is absent and they make up work, when you miss what you were going to do from your schedule, you know what you have to make-up the next day.


            Here is a list of items to get you thinking about what you need to make time for in your schedule.

  • Grading
  • Planning (whole group and small group)
  • Paper Work
  • Campus Meetings
  • Professional Development
  • Grade Level Meetings
  • Data Analysis

Download this editable weekly schedule by joining the VIP Block, just click HERE!

Habits are formed by consistency. If you want to increase the time you spend outside of the classroom, building habits is key.

Be sure to download all of the free templates to help you spend less time in the classroom while simultaneously increasing student achievement by subscribing below!


Leave a Comment