I am never assigning essays again.

April 27, 2008 at 5:55 pm 1 comment

I made a rookie mistake.

I mean, it’s not REALLY a mistake. I very deliberately set up my MND unit to include three assessment activities: a test (mostly multiple-choice), a creative project (acting as review for the test), and the district-mandated literary analysis essay.

The problem is, I finished the unit at the same time that I finished the “in charge of the class” portion of my student teaching. And progress reports are due next week.

And I have set myself up to have to grade 250 assignments in the space of seven days.

Thank gourd I am not teaching, because there’s no way I could get through this all if I was responsible for classroom activities, too.

I managed to whip through the tests pretty quickly, thanks to a wonderful thing called CPS software (which, if you aren’t using it, you should go kick yourself in the butt and go write a grant for clickers RIGHT NOW) and a minimalist “checklist” rubric for the three short-essay questions.

We had a stupid Career Center day on Friday, and I was able to make a dent in the creative projects. I’ve pretty much graded all of the board games. Now on to the tougher stuff, like “lost scenes,” music videos, and loosely organized mock-tabloids.

But these essays – yargh. I am limiting myself to 5-10 minutes per paper, and yet I have still only graded ten. Why? Because they are MAKING ME CRAZY.

Coincidentally, today one of my RSS feeds had something to say about grading essays. Rate Your Students is a… well, I guess it might be a therapeutic tool for angsty professors. You’ve heard of Rate Your Professors, I’m sure; well, a bunch of professors got irritated by that site and created a blog where they basically rant about their awful students. It’s sick, twisted, and often entirely hilarious.

Anyway, today a chemistry professor submitted this gem:

Grading my finals
is easy as pi: no essays.
I teach chem, not lit.

Calculate numbers.
Equations are right or wrong.
No partial credit.

Poor comp and lit profs.
Students cannot plagiarize
If they do not write.

Chem grads get jobs.
People think we’re useful.
Pay accordingly.

Well rounded? Hell no!
I did learn to write Haiku
by reading this site.

Sounds pretty damn good, actually. I was kind of thinking I might go the PE teacher route. How much lesson planning and essay grading do you have to do to make kids run stair laps?

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Entry filed under: FUN STUFF, GRADING. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Week in a Burkha I Teach English Good: A Number of Questions

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. eyeingtenure  |  April 27, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    No essays ever again? I think, as an English teacher, that this might lead a widdle-bit-of-trouble.

    Reply

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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