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!
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.