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“I just can’t wait to go home and grade papers!” Not. Grading isn’t my favorite thing to do when I get home, but I just cannot seem to get any grading done during my prep period, so sadly, it all comes home. I really do not grade for hours during the week, but on Sundays I can sit for six to seven hours grading essays and projects.
These thoughts and situations have crossed my mind and table and I am sure that you have had similar situations while grading papers. I hope they connect with you.
1. All I ask is that you use proper MLA format. Why must you deviate from it?
2. I don’t like this pen color anymore. Opens new pack of pens*
3. Ugh, I just can deal with this kid’s paper right now. Puts it under stack*
4. There is no way this student wrote this. Googles first sentence* Bingo.
5. I can’t even read this font. Am I getting old?
6. Look at this lovely cursive. It is a dying art.
7. How did this paper get in here? It is from three weeks ago. Puts it random paper stack*
8. This paper has no name. Sigh* It looks like Mary’s handwriting…I’m not sure. Puts it no name paper stack*
9. I can’t read this. Puts it under stack*
10. I really need a break I’m starting to get mean.
11. Writes “really?” in margin. Is that sarcastic? Should I change it?
12. Reads an entire paper about a cat. Topic was on the use of rhetorical devices in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Shakes head*
13. Wait, I just read this paper. Looks through stack. Finds same paper. Puts it in I don’t know how to deal with this now stack*
14. Thank Goodness! I did cover irony. I was a getting a little worried…
15. Wait… Ben missed number 2,4, and 5? Let me check my key.
16. Aww… I love getting notes about how I am their favorite teacher at the top of the page. Makes my day.
17. A long note on the last page, explaining why they will probably fail this test. What do I do with this?
18. I love paper clipping my graded papers. I feel so accomplished.
19. This is such a wonderful paragraph. I will have to put it on the document camera tomorrow.
20. Oh no! No. Did this computer just freeze? Does that mean I lost all those grades I just put in? Logs back in* Lost all the grades. Sigh*
Grading is a necessary evil. It isn’t the best part of the job, but there is no greater feeling in the world when your class all passed a difficult test or when you read a well-written paper and know that you helped them achieved success.
Though this is a light-hearted post, I hope you take grading seriously because sometimes it is the only chance you have to give one on one feedback to your students. It also measures how well you have taught the material and if you need to reteach. Use grading as a chance to connect to your students. You would be surprise how happy a basketball sticker and a “GREAT JOB” can change a student’s behavior in your class. Now what are some thoughts that go through your head when grading?
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