What’s Plan B? C? D?

I found myself surrounded with papers, poster board projects, many rubrics, and an abundant rubber-band bound bundle of blue-and-orange-ink pens. (I’m subliminally creating, by giving feedback in blue and orange ink, an army of Chicago Bears fans.) Project, presentation, and quiz grades were due on Monday, so I had to occupy my Saturday and Sunday with grading. This wasn’t a case of my early-college procrastination returning; no, I owed the swamp of student work to my lack of thoroughly planning ahead.

Due to circumstances that could have been avoided if I asked for a detailed schedule of school events, I had three assignments due within three days: a project, a presentation, and a quiz. Originally, I had planned to have each assignment due within a week of each other; however, as it often goes in life, the plan was disrupted by a series of Lemony Snickets, and the assignments avalanched onto one another. The only way out was to spend the entirety of my weekend grading.

I had a brilliant professor who once said that teachers should not spend their weekend grading students’ work. “You’ll wind up grading angrily, which is unfair to the students,” she said, “and eventually burn yourself out.” I whole-heartedly agree with my professor; however, work needs to be done. Next time, I’ll strategize meticulously through Plan D.


  • Acquire detailed schedule of school events
  • Don’t spend weekends grading
  • When planning, consider hypothetical scenarios and establish a minimum of three backup plans
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