Today is Friday. On Friday, I collect journals from about half of my students. In addition to the formative assignments I have tried to review over the week to inform instruction, I will take these journals home with me. I also have some essays students have polished and turned in for a re-grade. We will talk about the philosophy of the last part later, but I find all of these assignments resting in my bag to be pedagogically useful.
But goodness there are a lot of them. I have roughly 190 pages to read this weekend. I also will chaperone prom and spend some time sprucing up my classroom and creating writing prompts and notes on semicolons for the week to come.
Then there are the non-school things I'd like to do this weekend. I hope to perfect my recipe for gluten-free, vegan pizza. I'd like to go wine tasting with some friends and celebrate another friend's successful dissertation defense. I have to get my car inspected. Atticus wants to spend some time in the woods, and so do I. These activities feel important to rejuvenate and refresh myself so I can be a good teacher to my students (well, maybe not the car inspection). But there are only so many hours in a day.
Honestly, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by all of the grading that I dream of becoming a guidance counselor because I'd still get to help students grow academically and personally, but I wouldn't have to read as many essays. I love working with my students so much, but I am definitely lacking a system for dealing with student work efficiently. Teacher friends, how do you manage your grading load? What tips do you have for those of us still trying to figure it all out?