There is always room for improvement, right? As an educator, it may seem like your hours are swamped with stacks of papers to grade, lesson plans to make, and teacher-parent conferences to schedule! But somewhere within your busy day, it’s important to slow down enough to make time for YOU. Putting time and resources into getting better at what you do is sure to trickle down and become apparent in your students, and at the end of the day, knowing how to teach children better is never a bad thing! Without further ado, here are four ways you can teach more effectively to increase student engagement:


1. PD is Key!

Professional Development courses are not only great for honing your teaching skills, but they are also a great way to network. Whether you are struggling to adapt to new technology or want to know how to take full advantage of new curricula in your early childhood classroom, we’re here to help! Kaplan Early Learning Company offers both on-site and online high quality professional development courses to help you meet your goals. Find out more about available courses here or browse our PD resources below:

-Selecting Online Professional Development for Educators 

-On-Site vs. Online Professional Development

-CCEI vs. Quality Assist: Which Online Professional Development Opportunity Works Best for You? 


2. Ward off Procrastination.

Many times we put more work on ourselves than necessary by procrastinating. We all have to-do lists, but sometimes it takes working up enough motivation to even start marking things off! Here are a few tips for properly managing your time and bringing an end to, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

  • Reward yourself when you’ve finished everything that absolutely has to be finished in the end of the day. (We all know there are certain “to-dos” that never come to an end - like laundry!) But it’s important to have something to look forward to at the end of the day, whether it’s treating yourself to a favorite snack or reading a chapter in that book you’ve never had the chance to start.
  • Knock the small stuff out first. There are several menial tasks you will be asked to do throughout the day. Instead of adding them to your already-overflowing list, knock them out immediately if you have the capacity to do them when asked. You will be surprised by how much stress this alleviates!
  • Give yourself deadlines BEFORE the deadlines! Everyone has those relatives you tell to come at two when the party really starts at three; manage your time the same way! If you know you have a tendency to procrastinate, make items due earlier than they actually are so that your time management will have to change accordingly. Before you know it, you will establish a pattern of having things done well in advance!


3. Network with Fellow Educators

Using the knowledge of the educators around you will only benefit you and your students.  Just as you have years of experience to share with your fellow teachers, you can gain insights from educators with different classroom approaches to see the results of methods you may not have yet had the chance to try. Also, sharing resources, whether through blogs or Pinterest, is a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest educational trends. For a list of resources you and your teacher network can use, check out our education quick hits for both elementary and early childhood educators here.


4. Get Organized.

Having all of your ducks in a row, so to speak, is so important in presenting a solid teaching front to your students. It will help your classroom run smoother, be easier for students to navigate, and allow you to find and use teaching resources more efficiently. There are several classroom hacks you can use to ensure your classroom is operating to its maximum capacity. Here are 10 of our favorite Pinterest-inspired classroom hacks.

We hope you found these tips for teaching more effectively useful! Do you have creative ways or resources you use to make sure your teaching game is always up to speed? Share them with us by commenting below or tweeting us @Kaplanco with the hashtag #edchat.