Friday, September 28, 2012

Changing Routines

I started a new system this year for students who were absent to get their missing work.  My plan was to have a expandable file folder with a section labeled for each class in my student office area.  I was going to write the name of each absent student on the paper, and then file it in the correct section so students would know to look there for the papers they missed.  It sounds like an excellent plan, and if used properly, probably works like a dream.  If you use it properly.  Which I don't.  The first month of school is over, and after about the first week I could not for the life of me remember to put the names on the papers, let alone file them.  And on top of that, my students who were present would go in there and take another copy because they lost original.  So, needless to say, the plan wasn't working - so, I changed it.

In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to keep trying to use something that just doesn't work for you simply because you're worried about the students having to learn a new routine or procedure.  I would say that trying to change something you've been doing all year in the last month might be a little nutty, but if you realize your system isn't working then don't keep using a broken system!  Fix it! Improve it, rearrange it, reorganize it, get rid of it completely - whatever you need to do to make your life easier in the long run.  Working with a broken system is only going to cause you headaches and frustration - and we get enough of both of those things as it is.  It sounds really simple, and a lot of people are probably thinking, "well, no duh" but I have meet so many people who just keep doing something the same way because they don't want to make the effort to change it.

My new system is still using the very pretty expandable file folder I bought (didn't want to waste it), but now I have the sections labeled for the type of activity/assignment it is.  I have a section for extra homework assignments, extra class work assignments, extra notebook activities, for new students, and for notebook setup. There is a lot of student turnover in DoD schools, so I will definitely end up with more than a few new students as the year goes on.  Now, instead of having to write names on papers and sort them into the correct section, I can just place the extras I have after the lesson into the appropriate slot.  This has already helped me stay organized (now I know where all my extras are), and has helped the students find exactly what they are looking for.  I still have to help students find their missing work sometimes, but this way is a LOT easier for me - and that means less headaches. 


1 comment:

  1. I put their names on the paper and then use a magnet to hold it up on the front board in my absent student section for students to pick up. It has worked pretty well so far.


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