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Teacher Housekeeping Tasks

Housekeeping and Recordkeeping Tasks for Teachers

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The job of teaching can be divided into six teaching tasks. One of these tasks is dealing with housekeeping and recordkeeping. Each day, teachers must take care of the business of teaching before they begin their daily lesson plan. While required daily tasks might seem monotonous and at times unnecessary, they can be made manageable through the use of effective systems. The main housekeeping and recordkeeping tasks can be divided into the following categories:
  • Attendance
  • Collecting Student Work
  • Resource and Material Management
  • Grades
  • Additional Teacher Specific Recordkeeping Tasks

Attendance Tasks

There are two main housekeeping chores related to attendance: taking daily attendance and dealing with students who are tardy. It is very important that you keep accurate attendance records because the situation might arise that the administration needs to use these to determine who was or was not in your class on a particular day. Following are some key tips to remember when taking attendance:
  • Use attendance at the beginning of the year to learn students' names.
  • If you have students complete warm ups at the beginning of each class period, this will give you the time to take attendance quickly and quietly without disrupting learning.
  • Assigned seats can speed up attendance because you can quickly glance at the class to see if there are any empty seats.

Dealing With Tardies

Tardies can cause a lot of disruption for teachers. It is important that you have a system ready and waiting for when a student is tardy to your class. Some effective methods that teachers use to deal with tardies include:

  • Tardy Cards
  • On Time Quizzes
  • Detention

Learn more about these and other methods for dealing with tardy students with this article on Creating a Tardy Policy

Assigning, Collecting, and Returning Student Work

Student work can quickly balloon into a housekeeping disaster if you do not have an easy and systematic way to assign, collect, and return it. Assigning student work is much simpler if you use the same method everyday. Methods might include a daily assignment sheet either posted or distributed to students or a reserved area of the board where you post each day's assignment.

Some teachers make collecting work completed in class a real time waster without realizing it. Don't walk around the room collecting work unless this serves a greater purpose such as during an exam or to stop a cheating situation. Instead, train the students to do the same thing each time they complete their work. For example, you might have them turn their paper over and when everyone is done pass their work to the front.

Collecting homework should be done at the beginning of class to stop students from finishing their work after the bell rings. You might stand at the door and collect their work as they enter the class or have a specific homework box where they are to turn in their work by a certain time.

Late and Make Up Work

One of the biggest thorns for many new and experienced teachers is dealing with late and make up work. As a general rule, teachers should accept late work according to a posted policy. Built into the policy is a system for penalizing late work to be fair to those who turn their work in on time.

The problems arise around how to keep track of late work and ensure that grades are correctly adjusted. Each teacher has their own philosophy about late work though your school might have a standard policy. However, whatever system you use has to be easy for you to follow.

Make up work is a different situation entirely. You have the challenge of creating authentic and interesting work on a daily basis which might not translate easily into make up work. Often quality work requires a great deal of teacher interaction. You might find that to make the work doable for the student, you have to create alternative assignments or provide detailed written instructions. Further, these students typically have extra time to turn in their work which can be hard in terms of managing your grading.

Resource and Material Management

As a teacher you may have books, computers, workbooks, manipulatives, lab materials, and more to manage. Books and materials have a tendency to "walk away" quite often. It is wise to create areas in your room where materials go and systems to make it easy for you to check whether all materials are accounted for each day. Further, if you assign books, you will probably want to do periodic "book checks" to make sure that students still have their books. This will save time and additional paperwork at the end of the school year.

Reporting Grades

One of the key recordkeeping tasks that teachers have is to accurately report grades. Typically, teachers have to report grades to their administration a couple of times a year: at progress report time, for student transfers, and for semester and final grades.

A key to making this job manageable is to keep up with your grading as the year goes on. It can be tough sometimes to grade time consuming assignments. Therefore, it is a good idea to use rubrics and if possible to space out assignments that require a lot of grading time. One problem with waiting until the end of a grading period to finish grading is that students might be "surprised" by their grade - they have not seen any previously graded work.

Each school will have a different system for reporting grades. Make sure to double check each student's grade before finally submitting them because mistakes are much easier to fix before they are finally submitted.

Additional Recordkeeping Tasks

From time to time, additional recordkeeping tasks might arise for you. For example, if you are taking your students on a field trip, then you will need to efficiently collect permission slips and money along with organize buses and substitutes. When these situations arise, it is best to think through each of the steps and come up with a system for dealing with the paperwork.
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