July 20, 2009

Avoiding The Death March

Last year, I discussed how teaching can be compared to a death march and how easy it is to become overworked and burnt out. Almost all of my time was spent on work last year, so I'd like to be a bit more prepared this year.

Fortunately, I've already taught all of the classes I'm scheduled for before, which means I've got a good set of lesson plans for them already. Of course, I'll be making some changes to the classes, but the fact that I've taught them before will significantly reduce the amount of prep time for the classes.

I'm going one step further. This summer, I'm laying out the lesson plans week-by-week, so when I ask myself what I should do in class that week, I can just look in my file and pull out a bunch of lessons. That's not to say that I won't be customizing the lessons of course. But it will help tremendously.

I'm also making some changes to my grading procedures. I'm going to research some web-based tools to help me grade keyboarding papers. Also, I won't be grading every single Java program line by line. I'll do this for some, but I'll be spot checking others to make sure they compile and run properly.

I'll also tighten up my policy for late work. I've accepted late work in the past and assessed a minor penalty for it. The point deduction will be much higher next year, and students will not be able to turn in work that is more than one week late.

I have to say that I'm getting pretty excited to get into the classroom again. I'm really excited for what we'll be doing with DECA as well. The rest of the summer will go really fast.

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