Friday, April 18, 2008


Well, here I am, faced with a big old stack of 38 essays to grade. (2 more will appear on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.) I like assigning essays, since I know that it makes the kids better writers to actually do it. But that all goes out the window when it's time to, you know, grade them. Grading is so horrific. I hate that I have to rate students, especially knowing that it affects their self-esteem. (I know it used to affect mine. I rarely ever read a comment on a paper that a teacher or professor wrote until senior year of college.) I wish there was some other way to assess their work without grading. Or testing. Granted papers and projects are better methods of assessment than, say, standardized tests, but still. It's a struggle.

I wonder how much my grading has changed since I was an intern? That year, the kids used to call me "C is for Cynthia." Apparently, I was a tough one. (Seriously, though? There's no excuse for not knowing how to correctly punctuate a sentence when you are in high school. That's the part with rules. Constructing an argument is much more difficult than knowing where to put a comma or whether to use two, to, or too.)

As pain in the ass as my Summerbridge weekly evaluations were, at least they were more descriptive of what the kids could do. I feel like the B+ tells parents and students nothing, which I guess is where our comments come in. But it was easier to be detailed in the weekly evaluations because we only had 8-10 students or whatever. I have 75... (which is nothing compared to some public schools)


Kate E. said...

Yeah, weekly evals! :)

cmk said...

But seriously, what a better way to assess kids than that stupid letter. I keep trying to emphasize to kids that grades have very little to do with smart/stupid but they seriously don't believe me.