Skip To Content

    25 Insanely Clever Schoolteacher Hacks

    Brilliant tips and tricks to help teachers of any grade save time, money, and patience.

    We asked the teachers of BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips and tricks. Here are the genius hacks all teachers should know.

    1. Keep students from texting in class with "cell jails."

    2. Cover your bulletin boards with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store.

    3. Let students do practice work on their desks. They make for perfect dry-erase boards!

    4. Eliminate those incessant "Do I need to write this?" questions by color-coding your PowerPoints.

    5. Buy or create your own fake scratch-off tickets to reward high school students.

    6. Ask stores to donate parts of their awesome displays for your classroom.

    7. Steal. If there's an awesome lesson plan online, copy it for your own class.

    8. Elementary school classrooms are cringeworthy at the end of the day, so have your students clean up for you with a game.

    9. Use websites and apps like so parents can easily monitor their child's behavior.

    10. For easy clean-up, tape a plastic garbage bag over the table during art projects.

    11. The best time-out hack = a sparkle bottle. Give it to the troublemaker to shake, and let them rejoin class when the glitter settles at the bottom.

    12. When the students are restless mid-lesson…30-second dance party!

    13. For elementary school kids, take a 10-minute stretch and chat break during downtime.

    14. "Heads down, thumbs up" is an easy way for high school students to assess their own understanding of the content.

    15. Keep a small ball on your desk to retain the class's attention; simply pick it up when you need the students to calm down or refocus.

    16. Use to create interactive multiple-choice quizzes and track each student's scores.

    17. Label Post-It strips with each student's name for easy-to-make (and to recreate) seating charts.

    18. A great way to get parents ~and~ students to attend open house is to make it a secret game.

    19. The Zip Grade app makes grading so easy. It keeps digital copies of everything, so say goodbye to Scantron machines!

    20. To maintain a positive classroom environment, end the day with shout-outs, encouraging kids to give each other compliments and recognize hard work.

    21. Low participation? Randomly start giving out tickets for an end-of-day candy raffle.

    22. GoNoodle is the perfect website for those much-needed brain breaks during long, tiring days.

    23. Tired of minor disruptions? Have students hold up a number of fingers to replace common questions (i.e., three fingers = "May I go to the bathroom?").

    24. Bill Nye the Science Guy = automatic student enthusiasm.

    25. And most importantly: stickers. Kids will kill their own mothers for stickers.

    Want to be featured on BuzzFeed? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!