Here are some things I do at the end of each grading period.
As mentioned before, at the end of each grading period, I’ll sit down with each student and look at grades. There are things that I may have missed or sometimes the math doesn’t feel fair for me or the student. It’s also a good time to check in individually with students. I encourage those struggling and hype up those in J1 or underclassmen I want to keep in the program.
Quote Book Check
I should probably make a post about how I make students keep a quote book. Later. But each student has to submit their quote book for a spot check. I have an editor check a story (or captions on a page) for the interview log to make sure it matches and wasn’t used out of context. The quote book keeps students honest and keeps anyone from saying, “I didn’t say that.”
Kudos Parent Emails
I love this part of each grading period. I will send 5-10 emails to parents whose kids have done well this six weeks. Some are the stellar students. Some are the most improved. I’m sure to send emails to students’ parents from J1 who I want to move up and mention that they are the future of the program.
Kudos Student Emails
Having my own kids in the program, I know how big emails are from peers. I’ll remind my student leaders to send 1-2 emails to staff members who did well this grading period. I coach the editors to include specific details of why they are receiving the kudos. I have them send a blind copy copy to me, so I can see it. I file it in my email.
Back Up Server
I’ve only lost files and photos once in my career. Last year to be exact. I bought a terabyte external hard drive that I back up the server to. I also use another 2 terabyte external drive for our ‘archive’ from past years. (photos, pdfs and yearbook pages)
Clean up Ladder
A lot of times, we’ve made changes to our ideas or the amount of senior ads sold will adjust pages. This year we had to add eight pages. I also will look at the next deadline and make sure things are on track.
I hate this. But it’s necessary. I’ll go and file and delete my school email and my @therideronline.com email accounts. I always remember why I do this when I find something I forgot to do or someone who asked me to something.