Thursday, December 4, 2014

On Teacher Efficiency

I am literally the. world's. slowest. teacher.

It's a combination of things - I'm lazy and I procrastinate. But, also, I'm a perfectionist. Is that weird? Being lazy and a perfectionist? Maybe I'm lazy and I procrastinate, because I know it will take so long to get it perfect.

Writing a lesson plan or grading a test can literally take me days of work. This is not normal behavior. I marvel at the teachers who seem to have everything down and fly through their work. (Even though - snarky comment ahead - I know their work is not as beautiful as mine ;) Humbling comment follow up: but does it really need to be beautiful when students will look at it for less than 24 hours in total time?)

Anyway, I've been teaching for five years and I become more crazy about perfection each year to a fault. I don't think this will change. I'm neurotic and I know. There is conflicting information on whether neurotic people will live longer or shorter lives. However, I'm neurotic and not dumb and know something has to change if not my neuroticism. Here's what that change looks like for better efficiency:

1. Multiple choice quizzes and tests. If the MCATs can judge applicants on their medical knowledge and their aptitude for medical school through multiple choice, so can I. Grading time will not make me cry. If you search "writing better multiple choice questions," BYU and Vanderbilt have some useful tips if you're concerned about the quality of your multiple choice questions.

2. Rubrics. They take time to write, but make grading so much easier!

3. Try to grade something quickly after you receive them back - it's harder and harder to get back to it after a long time has passed.