In the teaching world, it is clear to say that we won't always get our weekends. I am guilty one too many times of going a few days in a row looking at that stack of papers hoping that they will magically grade themselves only to find my Saturday GONE by the task of getting 145 essays graded, quizzes, tests, correct writing errors, and entering participating. If ANY person says teaching is an easy job...it takes every bone in my body not to haul off and attack them...ya know what I mean?!?!
I'm still fairly new to this teaching "stuff" since I've only been in the teaching profession 3 years but I do know one thing about myself...I work on incentives. That's why you will always see my kids leaving with a star on their head or sugared up continuing their journey to the next teacher (Who I'm sure wants to give me 2 cents because kids are bringing their suckers into their rooms and not mine)...oops, sorry :( Anyways...here are a couple ideas of how to grade papers efficiently and maybe even somewhat 'ENJOY' the experience (yeah, I just said that)....
HAVE A GRADING PARTY (GET OUT OF YOUR FREAKING HOUSE)....
One thing that kills me is the dreaded fact KNOWING I have to be cooped up all day INSIDE reading a bunch of essays. I get tired, I say "I'm going to take a 30 minute nap" and I find myself sleeping for the next 3 hours, pushing off ANOTHER task.
So..I leave. Yep, I pack my crap and I leave. I grab my laptop, charger (cuz the dang thing won't ever hold charge), my papers to grade, a couple nice handy dandy new pens, a pocket full of cash (COFFEE), and I'm gone. I have my selection of local cafes I go to.
I tell myself I'm staying until X-amount of time and I sit my jolly butt down and grade. It works. It makes me feel better when I look around at the cafe and see a bunch of workaholics s like myself who are putting in their time too.
Grab ya a coffee, plug up the laptop, get comfy, and grade. Take a friend with you if you have someone else who also partakes in this grading misery on the weekends as well.
SET A TIMER AND GO....
So I'm not a procrastinator EVERY weekend...only the ones that have 2 days ;) Smart people will get that. Anyways, some week nights I have to get these dang things graded ASAP. So I assume the position....kitchen table cleared (no distractions), cell phone timer set, papers lined up, pen ready....GO.
I start grading like a MAD-WOMEN. (Warning: grade the papers accurately and efficiently even though you set a timer.) Once the timer goes off...I am no longer obligated to grade ANYMORE papers for the night. I am off-duty, partner. PEACE OUT! But...usually since I get my momentum going...I end up adding 10 more minutes to the timer, and then another 7, and before I know it.....Yep, you guessed it...papers graded! It's a beautiful thing, people!
STAY ON YOUR FEET....WORK, WORK, GRADE....
So I am as guilty as the next guy that if I get myself planted in that couch....done, finito, fin, he terminado! I am down for the night and there ain't no person going to stop that...so....I designate certain nights as "work nights" the key is DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE.
1. Get your papers ready to grade, lap top up on table, ready to grade and enter the grades.
2. Start working around your house on your chores....straightening, laundry, cleaning, etc.
3. For every few minutes of cleaning...run back to the table and grade about 7 to 10 papers.....
4. Repeat and get those papers graded!
I told you I WORK ON INCENTIVES!
If you get your momentum going...you'll notice you'll get through the whole thing AND have a sparkling clean house afterwards.
These are just some tricks that work for me!!! You guys post your ideas at the bottom. I am always up to new ideas of how to get those darn papers graded. :)