بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Sunday through Thursday I teach two classes in the morning. The first starts 8 and ends at quarter to 10. The second starts at 10 and ends at quarter to 12. During class time and my office hours I also have various tasks that don’t include actually teaching.
Before I even go to work there is always a lot to do. I need to go over any provided lesson plans to make sure that the material is suitable for me class. I need to prepare any supplementary material, such as games, activities etc. I also like to make myself notes on paper that I can bring to the board with me when I need to write questions or assignments for the students to see. Prep is not a difficult task, but it does take a lot of time.
The first thing that I do at the beginning of every class is have the students write their name and student ID number in a small notebook that I use specifically for attendance. After each class I enter any absences from each class into an excel spreadsheet. For each hour of a two hour class the students are either present or absent. If they are 10 minutes late to class they are considered absent. If they leave class for longer than 10 minutes for whatever reason during the second hour then they are considered absent. It seems basic, but it is not easy to keep track of these things while teaching a lesson at the same time. The notebook makes it so that I don’t have to call attendance during class time. The students who are on time sign and once the clock hits 10 past I make a mark in the notebook, which lets me know that any names that follow should be considered absent 1 hour. Attendance is extremely important where I work because if a student misses a certain number of hours of class time then they may be denied entrance to the exam.
Another extremely time consuming task is marking. When students do a piece of writing the teacher has to read and mark each piece. It seems simple, but when you are dealing with lower level students it can take a really long time to decide what errors to mark. For some students it is not possible to go through and mark ever single error because it would simply be too much for them to deal with. It is more effective to figure out a few errors that the student is making consistently, so that they can focus on learning to correct one or two things at a time.
After marking comes grading. Grading can be easy if you are just correcting a vocabulary test or a multiple choice quiz, but once again dealing with writing often requires going through a rubric with various requirements and bands. Even vocab and multiple choice can be time consuming. Just think about how much time it takes to go through and check 30 questions for 30 students. You can triple that for grading writing.
So far I am really enjoying my job. Having these extra tasks keeps me busy during my office hours and also helps me to better understand my students. While marking and grading allow me to see the errors as well as progress of each student, it can also allow me to see common issues for the entire class. This helps me to focus on problem areas in class to help the students as a whole, while marking single pieces alone just gives feedback to individual students.
The hardest part of my job is simply getting the students motivated to work in class. Seems like it should be easy, but I can honestly say that I think it is something that I am going to be constantly challenged by while working in this country.