Teacher Time Management Tips for Grading

By Huntington Learning Center

Grading is an important and necessary part of the job for a teacher, but it can easily pile up—and create extra stress. There are many time management strategies for teachers who need to find a way to grade and return student work in a timelier manner. Here are several grading tips for busy teachers 

Use class time for peer grading. Assignments that are all multiple-choice or have straightforward answers (e.g., simple math assignments) are well-suited for having your students grade one another’s work (or their own) in class. Of course, you should monitor the room to ensure students are being honest and careful as they grade. Look for opportunities to lighten your grading load this way. To maintain student privacy, you could have students use their student IDs rather than their names on assignments you plan to have them grade.  

Use technology. Talk with your school district technology team to learn if they have vetted any tools or platforms that you could incorporate into your grading process to help you grade more efficiently. For example, you could save time when grading essays or other writing assignments by using Google Docs’ voice typing tool. Rather than type your feedback, you can voice type it (then review your comments to correct any dictation errors). In the age of artificial intelligence, there are many automated grading programs out there as well. Again, ask the technology staff at your school for advice and school-approved suggestions.  

Use rubrics. Rubrics are extremely helpful for teachers and students alike. For students, they provide a clear, objective set of expectations for assignments, including a checklist of requirements and a rating scale. They are great for taking the subjectivity out of grading assignments like essays and presentations because you design them around desired learning outcomes and key skills. This makes grading much easier and faster. Because the rubric provides grading criteria to students on the front end, you can use your written feedback to teach students how to improve on future work rather than justify your grade.  

Use a set time for grading. Effective time management is key to staying on top of grading. You can avoid mountains of paperwork by carving out specific times for grading—whether you use your prep hour or find times of the day when you feel most productive. Block off time on your weekly calendar to serve as a reminder to keep up with grading.  

Look for opportunities to lighten the load. Seasoned teachers know that not every assignment requires the same level of grading attention. Certain homework and in-class assignments might require a check to confirm that students completed the work to further their learning and reinforce concepts. Establish your goals and grading criteria to help students understand what is expected of them and how you will grade their work. In doing so, you’ll help them learn and save yourself time on grading.  

If you’re trying to step up your teaching time management this school year, grading is an area where you can find efficiencies. Try a few of these grading tips for teachers. Any time you save can be put directly back into helping your students learn and succeed.  

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