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Last mile marking tips

Posted by Karabo Kgophane on 11 November 2021 2:30 PM SAST
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Article by Katt Backwell

The school year has flown by but now is creeping along, you are not alone. Many teachers this time of year are teaching students who are anxious about the school year ending.

To help you and your students stay focused and productive to the end of the year, several national writers have shared tips you can use in your classroom to not only make it to the end of the year but to enjoy every minute of it.

With only a few weeks left before the school year ends. Most educators are reaching that weary point of exhaustion and stress that always come with a batch of papers that won’t mark themselves, more classes to teach and not having enough energy. 

Here are a few ideas for de-stressing in these final weeks of school.

Don’t tackle everything all at once
You have some time before the final marks need to be in. Sure, the last pile is calling your name, but we highly recommend you follow this method. Set a goal to mark 4 or 5 individual test papers each day. By the end of the week, that pile will be significantly smaller.

If you just can’t set aside the time to mark those papers a little at a time, throw a marking party for yourself and several of your colleagues. You have to be careful who you invite, though. If you know that one of your colleagues is going to talk through the entire thing and keep you from getting nothing done, it’s probably not a good idea to invite that one. You can discreetly plan the gathering via email or phone calls. Then, order a pizza, set a specific timeline for grading and then reward yourself for the marking done.

Take time away
There is no written rule that says you must accomplish everything right now. If you’re feeling overcome by the stress, take a break. Go to the local bookstore and browse the best sellers. Buy a new book. Take a stroll in the park. Go to the zoo. Get a pedicure. Whatever you choose, vow to yourself that while you’re engaged in this activity you will not think about the pile of things to do at home. If you don’t think it’s possible, invite a friend that you don’t work with. You have a chance to get caught up in each other’s lives and it will keep you from thinking about the “to-do” list at home.

Make a list
Make a list of everything that needs to be done and then cross each thing off when you get through with it. It’s always rewarding to see the list getting smaller.

Have class outside, for a change
Planning a day of just talking to students about their papers, instead of keeping them in the classroom, take them outside. It’s a great way to get students a bit more relaxed, relieve some stress, and get them geared up for the rest of class. This is always a method for not only de-stressing the instructor but the student as well.

Source: Teaching monster

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