Friday, December 12, 2014

Paperwork: Don't stress!

If your uni (or perhaps public school too) is anything like mine, they require massive amounts of paperwork in things like lesson plans, comprehensive attendance reports, homework/tests grading criteria and samples of student work to compile this huge portfolio thing for every class.  It doesn't make me annoyed because my job is actually pretty easy and since I'm organized with everything on Google Drive, it doesn't actually take me that long just to print up everything and kill a small forest in the process. 

Anyway,  in my years of working at a couple unis in Korea, I can confidently put myself and my coworkers into three groups as it relates to this topic:

1. Those who stress publicly by posting on the teacher's Facebook group or sending various emails to everyone or hassling the admin.  These people have serious stress over things that don't really matter  such as how to get online homework into paper format.  Or, making up massive grading criteria spreadsheets for oral exams.  Or, transcribing oral exams into paper format.  These people are an admin's worst nightmare.

2. Those who just do what they need to do and don't make a big fuss about it.  Their portfolios are "perfect" in that they contain what is needed and nothing more, nothing less and are of course turned in well before the deadline.

3. Those who can't follow simple directions and put everything necessary into the portfolio.  This may be due to not being able to read, laziness or disorganization because they simply don't have things like samples of student work. These people are an admin's worst nightmare.

What am I and what should you be?  Number 2 of course.  The secret is that the department secretary will take a cursory glance through your portfolio and then it will be filed on some shelf for a few years, collecting dust after which it will be thrown in the trash.  No one is analyzing your course looking at your teaching methodology and seeing how the program could be improved.  No one is checking to make sure that you're actually teaching what you're supposed to be teaching.  By doing number 1, you're just wasting hours of your life which you can never get back.  By doing number 3, you just look totally incompetent and it may cause your department to wonder why they gave you the job in the first place.

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