Wednesday, February 18, 2009


JMJ. I am honest-to-God sick of students asking me if I've graded their crap. Especially when they turned in research papers to a sub while I was away at the GCTE conference and they ask me the DAY I GET BACK. Um, hello, I just got the folders out of my mailbox thirty minutes ago?

There is a related discussion over at the English Companion ning. The consensus seems to be that specific feedback is much more useful/helpful/taken seriously by the students than a grade. Give feedback regularly, and grade only the final draft.

WTF? Where are these students and how do I get some? Because if they have the slightest INKLING that an assignment isn't going to be graded, they don't do it.

It just feels like this is the way we're supposed to do things because it works - yeah - it works for everyone EXCEPT ME. I'm sick of it. I'm tired of being confused and feeling helpless and incompetent.

Maybe it's because we're smack in the middle of February and I'm not going to get a break until April. I dunno. But I'm getting really annoyed at having to answer the same brainless questions over and over again. You know how they say "there are no stupid questions?" They're right.

It's not the QUESTIONS that are the problem. It's the people askin' em. ;p

Image thanks to


Anonymous said...

I love your STFU graphic! It Rox! I hear you. If my kids ask me "What are we doing today?" or "Is this for a grade?" one more time - I am going to explode. And if I can find out who made the February calendar for our district with no days off!!! Argh indeed! Hang in there.

Lightly Seasoned said...

The kids I can get away with offering feedback and not grading every blessed thing are my very motivated APES. And only even then because I do it in such a way that their grade benefits.

For the rest, I trick them. They think I grade their entire question sets, but I'm really only spot checking about three answers that I know they're most likely to skip/get wrong. On essays, making revisions on my feedback is a major grade. Etc.

Sometimes I don't grade stuff, but I put a number that looks like a grade on it anyway.

Oh yeah, there is soooo such a thing as a dumb question. I tell my kids it's the one three people just asked *right before you did.* What I love is when they ask what their grade is now the minute I pass something back. Wait! Let me calculate that for you right now!

Whee. Our spring break is in March :).

HappyChyck said...

I've hit revision with my students very heavily this year, so when they bring in a "best rough draft" essay, they never know if they have to turn it in our jump through a bunch of hoops during a revision activity. (*I* don't necessarily give the feedback. I have look for things on their own papers or with a peer's paper.) If they make a serious effort, I give them credit. If I see something that needs serious intervention, I stop by and talk to a student. I wish I could give frequent feedback to everyone. A few times a quarter, I have them choose a one to be evaluated as a test grade. It works pretty well, and I've had it work with bone head high school students and not just my smartie pants middle schoolers, too. It's not surefire, though. I can't get my alternative high kids to write anything at all. They talk, talk, talk good ideas, but can't put pencil to paper. Hard to revise, edit, give feedback, and grade a 3-sentence paragraph in a high school class.

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