Monday, October 03, 2005

Buried in paper

I absolutely hate it when the end of a grading period rolls around because I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.

Things start to pile up, especially grading. I had to grade a unit test, journals, a water cycle/carbon cycle poster, as well as Friday homework. Multiply all that by 125 kids (and substract a few for the kids who do absoutely nothing) and it's a full weekend. And boring. Grading is boring, boring, boring.

The one thing I absolutely hate to grade are journals. Our district believes in "writing across the curriculum" and kids write in every class with the exception of math. I do a number of writing assignments throughout the year, including a research paper and a website, but the journal is the one thing that I do all year long and despise with every fiber of my being.

Honestly, it can't be easier. Write three sentences (every other class wants five) answering some question about what we're doing, a science article in the news, or a reflection. It couldn't be easier, especially because I often recycle section review questions out of our science book. I give the kids about 8 minutes in class to do this and we work, and work, and work on how to restate the question so that the reader can actually figure out what the kids are writing about.

But I still can't get some of them to do this, let alone turn in a composition book with 8 flipping journal entries in it. They can't/won't write a complete sentence that makes sense. They have time to do this in class but prefer to goof off and spend the week before journals are do scrambling to figure out what the questions are so they can answer them.

I admire English teachers. I don't know how they can read and grade all those papers. I'd be a drunk before I could ever manage that.

5 comments:

Princess Lionhead said...

I tell ya, I don't miss all the grading!!! I absolutely love teaching English, but grading it is life consuming!! I feel for ya.

Dr. Phat Tony said...

You do still get to grade in red ink right? I heard rumors of PC getting teachers to start using a different color so that they didn't hurt anywone's feelings.

Dr. Phat Tony said...

Don't count off for the "w" it was a typo.

The Mad Teacher said...

Mrs Bluebird, you wrote, "I admire English teachers. I don't know how they can read and grade all those papers."

Me too. And me neither.

Alas, I write this as an English teacher with another 40 freshman memoirs to proofread, comment, and grade. Somehow.

(sigh)

The Mad Teacher said...

Oh, yeah... and, to top it all off, I'm one of those PC-types who grade in purple ink, not red. (The students are required to use red when they proof and--theoretically--correct their own work.)

Hm. Not quite enough to get me off the couch and back to the desk though, satisfying as PC purple may be...