I've decided to make more time for me this year. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and look forward to each day. The only problem though, is I'm kind of a perfectionist and I like being prepared and organized. This entails time, and in a profession where there never seems to be enough time, I'm working towards finding time! In order to do that though, I know that I need to do less in the classroom. So, I thought I'd share one of my quick and easy ways to make more time for you, your family, your indulgences, or whatever time you need.
One of the easiest ways to make more time for you or your choices is to grade less. Grading is one of those never-ending tasks that seems to grow with each passing second. The larger the class or the more students you teach, the more papers to grade, right? Well, here is one of the simplest ways to grade more papers and give immediate feedback; let your students grade their own papers. Yup, you heard me right, let them grade their own papers. Now granted, this may take a big leap of faith for some classes, but in the end you'll be thanking me.
Give each student a highlighter or have them bring one from home, and when homework is due, grade the papers with the whole class right when they turn them in. It will take you approximately 5-10 minutes which is way less then if you grade them. As you give the students the correct answers, they will put a yellow "X" over the incorrect answer and when you are done, have them count how many they got right, and place that number at the top of their paper. I always start each grading session with clear expectations which include the following:
1) I spot check all work turned in.
2) I expect you to be honest and trustworthy.
3) No pencils or pens can be located on your desk.
4) Your partners will be watching.
When all papers are graded and turned in, you are left with just logging in your grades. Voila! You've successfully increased your own time significantly, and are now set to do the things you need to or want to do. What better way to make 2013 a year of finding time!