Posted by: endithinks | September 29, 2007

On Busy Work

My class improved in their test scores this week with every student earning an “A!” I was so nervous grading the papers. I could feel the blood flowing through my arteries and down my capillaries into my fingerlaries and I must say holding a pen with blood pumping into your fingerlaries is rather hard.

Of course there was no need to worry. The class reviews their notes on the daily and I must say that that will serve them well.

So after the exam we had some assignments to finish and I was busily grading and helping some of the students learn how to use Microsoft Word (damn you tables!) and some of the faster more experienced students finished and asked what they should do next.

Now, I’ve normally planned for such dire situations, and I did plan for it this time, but I forgot that I had extra work for them to do so I dipped and swirled and twirled on my feet and pulled out a batch of busy work. They lapped it up like any other assignment and I felt a bit bad about the slight betrayal. (About ten minutes later I remembered the stack of papers that actually had something to do with the class and pulled them out with a magician’s showmanship and a diplomatics swagger.)

So, have you ever been confronted with busy work? I hated that I pulled it out, but they didn’t seem to notice. Perhaps I am better at this Teacher thing than I thought.

Also today I got a lovely email from one of my students and I felt like sunshine.



  1. Hey, I realised you posted this ages ago but I was interested in what you thought about busywork. You are obviously a teacher and I can see that you don’t like giving out busywork. Turns out, most do.
    Well I am in highschool and just about last year I started realising what a waste of time most of the work is and it’s nice to see that you don’t try to give busywork. If you ever read this, I have a blog with a few posts on the subject at

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