As most teachers are aware, grading is one of the most time-consuming, but important aspects of the job. With so many students and assignments to go over, many times, grading carries over past school hours. This work-life balance can be a struggle for both beginning and veteran teachers, and maintaining this balance becomes even more difficult with the amount of grading you must do. Luckily, there are some tricks that make this process much more effective and efficient allowing you to provide adequate feedback for your students, and still maintain that work-life balance. Take a look at a few of these tips and strategies to make grading easier.
Divide and Conquer
You may see a large stack of essays or lab reports to grade as a daunting task; however, by simply splitting them up into more manageable chunks you can make things easier to handle. First, you want to decide how many of them you can assess in one sitting at a relatively fast pace that does not compromise the quality of the feedback. You can also try to divide the stack based on numbers or a percentage basis (a fourth of the class one day, etc.). Another strategy for assignments like tests is grading one question at a time. For example, you would grade all the number 1’s, then move on to all the number 2s, etc. This process will make things go quickly because you will be able to focus on one response at a time.
It can be challenging to maintain your focus for a sustained amount of time. With that said, you will find that taking frequent short breaks can help increase your productivity. Once you have been able to complete a decent chunk of grading, then you can reward yourself with a treat or a quick stretch break to rest your mind. As much as you may want to knock out the whole thing in one sitting, you will be much better off using the first strategy of breaking things up and taking small breaks in between each chunk. Not only will you have better focus, but the quality of your work will increase as you will be able to come back to each new set of grading with a refreshed state of mind.
Technology is rapidly advancing and increasing the efficiency of many different industries and teaching is one of them. Due to the rise of new technological advances, written commentary which is often the most time-consuming method is not the only option. Kaizena is an application that allows teachers to leave voice comments directly onto students’ documents. These voice comments are 75 percent faster than the usual written comments according to the company. You can make voice comments on Google Docs and even use Canned Replies for your frequently used comments to save yourself some more time.