Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding Time

I have a small white dry-erase board I keep at my desk. On Thursdays, I write every assignment coming due from my classes for the next week. This is especially important for the weekend, which, for me, goes from Friday through Monday, as that is when I have the most work to do.

When I wrote out my assignments for this "weekend," I thought, "I will never finish these by Monday." But, because I take this seriously, I knuckled down and started reading/grading assignments. Thursday, I spent most of the night trying to catch up with things students sent me that they should have sent earlier. Friday, I graded a set of freshman essays. Saturday, I read a set of Eng. 226 drafts, then graded a set of reading journals. This morning, Sunday, I posted scores for a quiz, read two sets of blogs and posted those grades, and handled assorted other assignments. I have a set of assignments for a freshman class, portfolios, and a quiz left to grade. I'll tackle the freshmen assignments in a few minutes; I'll save the portfolios and Eng. 215 quiz for tomorrow, which should leave me some time to mow the grass, and take care of household tasks.

As I complete my tasks, I give myself a break. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie; sometimes, I'll go outside and sit for a while and watch the birds. Today, I went out and set up my new composting box--I put in a bottom for it, then shovelled in the compost from the heap in my yard. That wasn't the most relaxing break, but I accomplished something, at least.

Every time I tell myself, "I don't have time," I need to look at my white board and remember how I handle tasks. I have as much time as I make, as long as I plan well.


Lyndsi said...

That dry erase board sounds like a good idea. I have a daily planner but I like the idea of having something big and bold to look at then erasing the tasks as they are completed. I may have to try that (especially since I have fallen behind in work and school with being sick the past few days.)

cpstinnett said...

Thank you for the Birthday wishes Ms. Smith, I hope you get a chance to spend some time with your son on his birthday tomorrow, since it is the best day of the year. lol jk, Have a good one!

SaraLadner said...

I don't know how English teachers do it! Y'all have way more things to grade than most other teachers, and it seems so time consuming!

dotsmom said...

Thanks for the responses.

Chad, I hope you had a good birthday. I managed to talk to my son on the phone.

Sara, it's a matter of planning and discipline. Sometimes, I just don't want to grade anything, but I make myself do it. The white board is a great prompt, or "nag" if you will!

K. Smith