Thursday, September 06, 2007

Management of ME

Ok - I really ought to be off reading some homeworks. However - how do people do it? I can't seem to get a handle on my time management, though I really think I'm doing better this year than I ever have in the past. How do you balance planning/grading/inputting grades/making photocopies/finding stories/contacting parents/conferencing/researching/etc? (This is made more complicated by also adding counting money/writing receipts/checking deadlines/calling advertisers, pro photographers, the publisher/proofreading/etc. for the newspaper and the yearbook.)

The grading and the parent contacts pile up first. I don't skimp on planning, because I know that if I do, I will soon be miserable. And researching new instructional methods is at this point sort of a pipe dream. I'd love to find out more about programs that could improve our abysmal graduation rate, but I have NO time for it - or at least, no time given how things work now.

Anyone have any ideas??


The Science Goddess said...

I wish I had some magic bullets for you (and me!). Some teachers manage it by being crappy teachers. When you just have kids read out of the textbook, answer questions, then trade-n-grade papers---it's pretty darned easy to keep up.

It's good that you aren't skimping on planning. My only suggestion for a good teacher (like you) is to make the most of formative assessment opportunities during class. Jotting a few notes about what kids say and do can always be used later to help you shape the final grade. If you must collect each and every piece of work---focus on 2 or 3 main questions and skim the rest. You can keep the piles you take home to a minimum.

Clix said...

I guess this week has just been particularly BAD - Tuesday was open house, Wednesday was a department meeting (although those are fun, they still do take time), and yesterday was a meeting about a student. Plus we've had homeroom for homecoming voting, yearbook sales, and superlatives voting, and a fire drill - all of which cut into my planning. Plus I was out for two days. OH! And progress reports were to go out this week (ha ha).

Hopefully I won't have too many more weeks like this one.

Mrs. Chili said...

Sometimes, my management scheme falls into the "tyranny of the urgent." Whatever is most pressing gets done first.

Luckily, though, I manage to keep up. I think a lot of my ability to do that has to do with the fact that I'm an adjunct professor who only teaches three classes (two of which are different sections of the same course). I'm sometimes overwhelmed (right around mid- and end-of-term), but I'm usually able to tread the proverbial waters.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled toward your Blog via The Science Goddess, so I'm not sure what you teach, but I cut down on grading by having students do quite a bit in their class notebooks (this actually cuts down on copying, too!).

Each of my students has a notebook for bell work and a notebook for class notes. If I want to check their learning, I'll have them create a graphic organizer or something in their notes, we'll work on part of it together and they'll finish the rest. I collect and grade the notebooks every other week or so, which gives me the chance to look over what they've done.

So, rather than photocopying and collecting every simple assessment I want them to do, I can have it all kept in one place that is easy to grade just once.

I like your blog, I'm going to have to keep reading!

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