Thursday, April 24, 2008

Outsourcing My Job

The term "outsourcing" has such a negative connotation, but it is the best word I can use to describe what I do to save time. There are many jobs that I either hate to do or am not well-qualified to do that are a part of the regular teaching profession. So, what I have learned to do is outsource those jobs so that I can focus on teaching. I now spend more time really analyzing student work, creating lesson plans, tutoring students and participating in IMPACT projects.

The following is a list of jobs that I outsource:

Teacher's Assistants

  • Edit all the videos we do
  • Help maintain the website
  • Take my lesson plans and convert them into the SIOP format (that the school demands
  • Make phone calls


  • Translate information into Spanish
  • Help take the recycling to the recycling place
  • Chaperone field trips

Students - In each class, I have students do the following job

  • Monitor the computer equipment
  • Provide technology assistance
  • Collect and pass out papers
  • Answer the phone and take messages

Community Members - people who I know that want to be involved

  • Community Editors - they provide an extra set of eyes and offer comments to students when they publish articles
  • Interviews and Guest Speakers
  • Online Tutoring - They are allowed to take anonymous questions (that go into a website) and offer their feedback in their core subject. I'd like to expand this to real, face-to-face tutoring some day

Although technology is not a person, the use of GMAIL, RSS feeds, Google Docs, etc. allow me to access and organize student work whenever and wherever I want. I'm thinking of trying MOODLE as a course management system to expand upon this.
So, the question I pose is: What other things could I outsource? What are some things that you, as a teacher, outsource to free up your time?

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