Teaching final classes, grading student work, attending department events: it all adds up to make December a busy month. Here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives to help you close out the fall term.
Grade All the Things
Perhaps you’re in the position of needing to do a bit of Grading Triage?
Lincoln focuses on how grading can help students learn.
Jeff asks students to wait 24 hours before discussing graded work, so that students can absorb the grade and the comments.
Billie’s The Comforts of “Grading Jail” reminds us that even if we feel oppressed by the quantity of grading at the end of term,
We can grade student work in any kind of scenario that we wish, almost. We can create the kind of space that is comfortable for us and helps us be productive.
How could you make grading a little bit more enjoyable?
And if that seems like too much work right now, at minimum a Five-Minute Cleanup can help get your workspace back in order.
Notice the Season
Jason’s Seasonal Cycles reminds us to pay attention to the particular qualities and opportunities of the season. Maybe you love playing in the snow or staying cozy inside; or maybe December where you live is about palm trees wrapped in holiday lights. What does this season offer you?
Reflect and Plan
Set aside some time to conduct a Semester Review, looking at what went well this semester, as well as what challenges you faced. Heather’s End-of Semester Review questions remind us to also think about organizing teaching materials from the term.
Some of my favorite questions to plan for a great winter break include:
How do you feel right now?
How do you want to feel during your winter break?
How busy do you want to be?
How relaxed do you want to be?
Anastasia’s advice about Working Over “Break” includes halving your ambitious to-do list and saying no at least once to give yourself some breathing room. She wisely notes that:
the end of the year is a great time to forgive yourself for the things that have slipped, for the projects that are still ideas and not fully-formed, for the books yet to be written
The end of semester is truly a good time to bring forgiveness into our interactions with others and with ourselves.
What’s something enjoyable you do to mark the end of the semester? Let us know in the comments!
[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Dave Doe]