Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stresses of a New Teacher

As I am working with more and more new teachers, I hear one complaint more than anything else.  This is that they are bogged down with too much work to grade.  In the beginning, you want to grade everything.  This piles up really fast.  There is no way that any person can grade every sheet of paper (unless sleeping, eating, and having a life are not important to you).  So, how can this be managed...

1.  Only collect work that you know for sure you want to grade.  For example, do you need to grade every piece of homework?  Can you just have a check-in sheet to show that it is complete?

2.  To get to know how students are doing, have them grade the work themselves.  You will definitely need to train children to do this correctly.  When I have students grade their work, I do not use the results as a grade in my grade book.  This is just a quick way for me to see where students are at.

3.  Can you cut an assignment down?  Do you really need 50 questions to show if a child understands?  3-10 questions are more than sufficient.

4.  Grading writing is much more difficult.  Make sure to have rubrics created ahead of time.  This will make the grading go a lot faster.

5.  When in doubt, throw it out!  Sometimes, you need to file the papers into a circular file and just move on.  The stress is just not worth it.

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