In my first year, I made the mistake many new teachers make. I went crazy with my assessments. I wanted to be accurate so bad that I made tests and portfolios that took forever to grade. (I’m not sure if they were properly aligned either.) Eventually, I got frustrated and starting looking for help. A colleague showed me this site, which helped. I’m still not sure about peer grading, but the idea that not every assignment needed to be scored was an eye-opener — and a time-saver.
Sometimes, I have the patience and energy to slog through a long, detailed academic study. Other times, I just want simple, short answers. When I was stressing over all the time I gave to teaching, that certainly was an “other time”. That’s why I love this article. Five short ways to work more effectively without prose or verbiage. Delegating to students helped give me just enough time to submit attendance each class.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is to look to business resources for help. (Hello, Stephen Covey!) When I struggled to do more in less time, I started combing through business sites. That’s when I stumbled across this list. I loved it! The recommendations on structure, planning, and downtime (or “me time”) helped me get through a year with too many teaching duties.
Grading papers was always the longest, most tedious task when I taught Language Arts. Just looking at that pile of papers at 4:00 PM filled me with anxiety. One teacher seemed to fly through her grading. “What are you doing that I’m not?” I asked her one Friday afternoon. She explained and showed me this web page. It wasn’t life-changing, but it certainly helped me grade faster and better. Boilerplate responses alone saved me hours.
Yes, I admit it. During my first year as a social studies teacher, I lectured way too much. I wanted to do something more participatory, but I spent so much time grading that I didn’t have energy for much else. After reading this article, I discovered that making students active participants in a lesson not only increased engagement, it gave me less work. Better teaching with less time. That’s pretty much the definition of efficient teaching.