I hung out with a good friend tonight which sideswiped my intentions to grade assignments. With 197 students (not including 25 advisees), I am more than a little overwhelmed with grading which means I happily avoid the whelmed feeling with my friends, reading, writing, and planning. Usually, I’m able to split my extra work time pretty evenly between grading and planning. This year, I’m not going to get through this without time off dedicated just to grading.

In my “old age” I realize I need to set time aside for myself to recalibrate and refresh in order to be a better teacher. Practically, I set aside a certain amount of time for work outside my contract day during the week and on weekends. I don’t usually like to return assignments until the whole batch for a class is graded—as with many things, I’m rethinking my usual ways of doing things and my “great” ideas.
I can’t assign less. My students need the practice. I read (or atleast scan for the daily work) all the assignments which means things take longer.

I’m not alone in having too many students.

I’m not alone in wanting to do my due diligence.

I’m not alone in my frustrations with a broken system.

And, I’m probably not alone in what I end up letting slide, because it’s just a battle not worth fighting.

So, here’s a shout-out to every other teacher out there who feels like they are drowining. Make sure to do as much as you can to help your students become critical thinkers, analytical users of information, hard workers, and decent people—don’t lose yourself in it. Write or exercise or read or be with people you love or do things you love.

Keep the faith.


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