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I Got Help Now!

Though I maintain this year’s schedule is far more difficult than last, not everything’s turned for worse. One difference is… I’VE GOT HELP NOW!

Three things:

1. An Algebra Tutor
Recently graduated from college, and helps out in ALL THREE of my algebra classes. We’re developing a routine where he pulls out 3-4 students per day to provide my remedial students the support they need. The smaller the group, the more attention each student receives. Since we’re not able to make this happen in the normal classroom, it’s HUGE that students get this support. It’s essentially the private tutor privileged students get – but for MY students. Big time help.

2. A TA
About 5 ex-students turned seniors approached me at the beginning of the year inquiring to be my TA. I chose 1 from that pool, and that 1 has been colossal for me. She comes in during 2nd period, and takes care of ALL GRADING DUTIES aside from assessments. It’s amazing. After the period is done, we’ll check in… the once huge stack of assignments is no longer… and I’ll ask “Did you really grade all that?” She always answers with a calm “Yeah.” “Really, even left feedback, comments, and marked incorrect answers!?” Another calm “Yeah.” I’ll occasionally check, and it’s no lie. ALL OF IT… DONE. Honestly, this probably saves me about an hour per day (5 hours per week… ~25 hours per month)…. COLOSSAL.

3. Learning to Delegate
Students are willing and able! Let me repeat, students are WILLING AND ABLE! It seems any task I find tedious is a task students enthuse over… handing back papers, passing out materials, walking the attendance back to the office, putting things in their proper place, tidying up the classroom, etc, etc. I’m only beginning to harness the immense power behind this. Two other things I’ve brainstormed delegating: a great note-taker who can take notes for those absent, and an organized student who can keep a running record of assigned work. The best thing about it – gives a greater sense of purpose to students doing the task, especially those who loathe mathematics.

Teaching does not necessarily mean you MUST do it all. Delegate, facilate… finding ways to make it easier for you – in a way, it also makes it easier for them.

7 Responses to “I Got Help Now!”

  1. adelaide says:

    i’m learning that delegation is key!

    i think i’m going to post a list of available position and have students apply to be various monitors.

    i used to stress about coming in early to make copies every day until i realized how much my students loved using the machine.

  2. mr. g says:

    What a luxury! Students aren’t allowed in our copy room so I’m still finding myself in a rush those last moments before school begins.

  3. Delaine Zody says:

    I too have a great student aide this year who does what I ask and does it well. I never have to check on her to make sure she’s getting it done. She just does. Of course, many days there is nothing for her to do, but she does not sit, she is always busy with her own school work on those days.

  4. ljc says:

    Student aides can be really helpful and a true asset to a class. I have a rule. I only accept a student who has previously taken my highest level class with a B or better ( I prefer an A). That way when they are helping to grade homework they know the material, the course expectations and how my class runs. It has worked out fabulously. Especially when I have been grooming a prospective “administrative” type the previous year and when you drop a hint they are super excited to do it. Since they are already past PreCalc or Alg II then they can also support struggling students if you think it can work. My aides also have the agreement that they will just work on their own homework if I am just not organized for them some days. It works for me.

  5. sandeeclaws says:

    so this is the move that puts you over the edge, Mr. G? BEYOND.

  6. 13+ says:

    Me: Sounds like you expect your class to all get A’s this year.
    Mr. G: I expect them to get more problems right on the board.


  7. cmalixi says:

    Delegating is key. One of the best pieces of advice somebody gave me in college which has stuck with me today is:

    “You aren’t in charge of doing it, you are in charge of getting it done.”

    It was advice about being a student leader, but it can definitely apply to aspects of teaching.

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