The demands of starting a teaching job can be overwhelming. New teachers can apply new ideas and teaching techniques that will save valuable time.
Teaching jobs are partially defined by rules and regulations that define standards to be taught, disciplinary procedures, and the practices that schools must have to operate properly. But teachers in most schools have flexibility in the classroom.
For example, specific instructional materials, how the room is organized, how much homework is assigned, and grading procedures are among the areas of instruction where new teachers often spend more time than is necessary.
Prioritize and Organize and Let Students Help in the Classroom
Beginning teachers must possess organizational skills to survive. Student paperwork is a never-ending task, and the flood of additional forms and messages that must be filed only adds to the time that must be given to routine work.
Once students arrive, the tasks pile up quickly, but students can be part of the solution. There are always students who are willing to assist with simple tasks like helping empty trash cans, distributing materials, keeping up with basic supplies, helping with bulletin boards, etc.
Students shouldn’t be involved in tasks that expose them to confidential information. For example, teachers should grade assessments to maintain confidentiality and accuracy. Also, students shouldn’t handle money for obvious reasons but allowing them to help where can encourage responsibility and can save time.
Homework Doesn’t Have to be Time Consuming
Everything students do not have to be graded – this especially applies to homework. The value of homework increases with age. High school students seem to benefit the most.
Teachers should collaborate to assure that they stagger homework assignments to avoid overwhelming students on particular nights. All teachers should understand the differences between formative and summative assessments and consider homework formative.
This saves time because formative assessments don’t have to be graded, thereby saving hours of work for teachers. The practice of checking homework off and somehow turning checkmarks into grades is questionable. Giving homework as a means of developing student responsibility is also questionable.
New Teachers Don’t Have to Grade Everything
If teachers must grade homework and worksheets, consider giving cumulative quizzes based on those items. For example, give a quiz on Friday based on all homework or all classwork given during a particular week.
Students can be responsible for correcting their daily assignments as they are covered. The teacher grades one assessment that covers several assignments and the grade is more objective, not based on checks. The practice of recording fifty or sixty scores for evaluation is not necessary.
Two to four tests, perhaps a quiz grade or two weekly, and grades on other qualified student work – e.g. projects or lab reports – are all that are needed. Student work within a unit must be related to standards and students must know what those standards are.
Students must come to understand that what they do is not busy work or done simply to make them responsible, but work that leads to learning and subsequently to grades. Once students clearly understand that what they do affects their evaluations, they are learning an important and genuine relationship.
Beginning teachers often work harder than they have to and run the risk of increased stress and burnout. New teachers need to learn what resources are available and what things really must be done so that they do not create tasks that are not necessary for effective teaching. Students can serve as excellent resources for routine classroom tasks.
Additionally, new teachers must have an understanding of the role of homework in instruction and how they can reduce paperwork with proper grading techniques so that they can apply the concepts of formative and summative assessments to their advantage.
About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is a paper helper for students. He used to manage the content team at the company he worked for. Currently, Nicholas writes articles to share his knowledge with others and obtain new skills. Besides it, he is highly interested in the web design sphere.
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