Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Fever

I've got it as bad as the students do. They seem to have lost all pretenses of civilized behavior - hello, is there NO ONE who has heard of the concept of "knock, please?" - and my patience has been completely shredded. And it's only quarter after eight in the morning.


Also, I fussed at my sophomore class pretty heartily when I saw that after two full days in the library, some of them had apparently managed to PRETEND TO WORK the entire time, because despite several people circulating the work area & asking them what they were working on (myself, two librarians, and my student assistants) they do not have the information that they were supposed to find.


Also also, I feel like I'm being tugged in fifty-leventy different directions at once. Right now, it's because I'm collecting work that I don't see how I can possibly grade. I mean, not even for completion. Just the THOUGHT of even LOOKING at it makes my head hurt. In *each* of my Journalism 1 classes, we're workshopping their articles as a class. We've streamlined things enough that we're discussing four articles each class period. To keep students from completely BSing, I gave them a list of What To Look For and said they darn well better at least address each point on the list. So now I have these huge stacks of paper and I don't even want to look at them, not even grading them just for completion.

I mean, I keep hearing it said that as long as students are writing enough that you can get all of it graded, you're not having them write enough. BUT. I have a principal who says that if it's worth assigning, then it's worth grading. Well dammit, what am I honest-to-goodness supposed to do?!

Stick a fork in me, because I am DONE.

And there's still four weeks to go with students. FML.


Mardie said...

First - (((((HUGS))))) to you. The last few weeks can be the hardest.
Second - Deep breath? (Works sometimes.)
Third - You know you're going to have to look at those papers soooooo, you need a strategy for finding something good in them, if not for students, then for you.
Last - ((((Hugs)))) again.

TeachMoore said...

Apparently, your principal does not have a background in the teaching of writing. It's unrealistic and unnecessary for you to grade everything students write, especially an item-by-item review of each item. I once did a graphic for my principal of how many hours it actually took for me to grade student writing if I did for every student (150)just once a week. Fortunately, there are more and better ways to give students feedback on their writing. Keep the faith

Gary said...

Well, I think you've done enough work for today, don't you? Maybe tonight you can just get lost in something else--a book, movie, game, old photos. (Is #engchat the perfect thing to do tonight, or the worst thing?)

Tomorrow maybe you can smile at your principal ... and then do whatever works for you. Principals are wrong sometimes. I'm not kidding.

No matter what, please remember that a lot of people care about you, are inspired by you, and respect you. I mean, A LOT of people.

Hugs. Go relax.

Ms. said...

If it's worth assigning, it's worth grading? Not sure I agree with that, but I don't want to make this about your principal.

Oh, I am right there with you. If we hadn't just had Friday and Monday off, I don't know what I would have done.

I work myself into corners like this more often than I should. I spend weeks in denial, then somehow I get a bit manic and can discern what can be deemed "practice" (trashed, not graded) and what is essential "assessment."

You are not alone--it's that time of year when we, the kids, the parents--everyone--is burned out. Take it one minute at a time, then five, then fifteen...

Melissa said...

First, and most important, know that you are not alone. I think most teachers are at that FML point right now. I teach 8th graders, and they're acting like dogs in heat now that Spring has sprung. And for those students who know they're not eligible for the end-of-year activities, it's GAME ON. *sigh*

Here's what I'm doing to keep my sanity: Tomorrow (I had today off), I'm making one of those paper chains to count down the last 5 weeks (24 days!) of school. And I'm going to relish the moment each day when I can remove one link and see that chain grow shorter and shorter and shorter... ;)

Mardie said...

You know, Clix, on second thought maybe you won't want to grade those papers! I may well have jumped to a conclusion about your intentions with regards to those papers and what you told students about them.

For the record, though, I don't think that everything students write needs to be graded. And, for the record - Gary's right (again, doesn't it drive you crazy?) cause no matter what there ARE a lot of people who care about you.

More hugs.

Liz said...

frade them.

Clix said...

No grading tonight; we couldn't find a liquor store. :P

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