Teaching college classes can be very daunting. Here are some handy tips to help you keep your head up!
5. Write your lessons plans on Sunday
You may be extremely busy, but planning the whole week out on Sunday will save you valuable time all week. You will always know what’s coming up when they ask you. You will never be stuck pulling your hair out the night before, wondering what to teach them! This means you can save your evening time for grading and you will need it.
4. Give yourself ample time for grading
Grading takes a lot of time. A lot. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much time grading takes. It takes up far more time than you think it’s going to, so you need to make sure that you clear a good chunk of your schedule out when they hand you that big stack of papers. Stay in your office hours an hour longer if that is the only place you can think, or sit at a coffee shop on the weekend. Above all else, do not do it in one sitting or you may end up taking your frustrations out on the papers at the bottom of the stack.
3. Grade with a rubric
If you write your own rubric, or if the English department gave it to you, or even if it’s scratched out longhand, you need one. If you have your rubric ready, when a student asks about a bad grade (and they will), you can easily show them what they could’ve improved upon and where those points went. The only downside to a rubric is that making one takes time.
2. Tell them when they’re getting their papers back
Two reasons to do this. First, you will find that it’s the first thing they’re going to ask you, so it’s better to start class with, “I don’t have your papers yet” before they can ask. The question gets tiresome. Second, if you follow that with “you’ll get your papers on Wednesday” then you have to get those papers graded by Wednesday. If you don’t bring them when you said you were going to, they will get cranky, and you might want to have candy on hand.
1. Be patient
Some days this will be the hardest thing, but it is also the most important thing on this list.