Bird by Bird is book about writing by one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott. In it, Lamott tells a story that has resonated with me when I think about grading.
As I've been reading more about writing, I'm finding advice that is useful to the dreaded task of grading. Turns out, teachers and writers have a good deal in common: they need to carve out time to do their work. I know that as a teacher, it's critical that I monitor student progress by providing timely feedback and grading, but it can feel incredibly tedious and mechanical. As a more creative person who eschews schedules and routine, it can be challenging for me to keep up with all of the work that my students submit. It's easy to procrastinate on grading, and then as the papers continue to pile up, it can seem overwhelming to dive into the mess. Although taking it "bird by bird" is useful, another quip that seems even more relevant is:
That's it. I think this will be my secret to grading. I'll just sit down. And, when I sit down, I'll sit down to do it. I will apply the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair and I will grade. I'll set a time, keep myself from distractions, stay uncomfortable, and aim to do it every.single.day. It's important, and I'll feel so much better knowing that I have a handle on it.
How do you stay on top of grading? Any tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them!