Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Grading Day

This morning the wind blew in and stirred up the sky. It stirred in the sunshine, the white bloated clouds, and the sunlit ginger clouds driven across the dawn. Then the wind reached down and scooped up some dust and dirt and swept up piles of leaves abandoned by trees too cold and weary to maintain their attire. With cold and bitter gusts the gales stirred and stirred until the heavens grew grey and bleary. Now that the sunshine has been masked and cold northern air has been ushered in by November’s gales the temperature had dipped ten degrees since sunrise.

Perfect day to remain indoors sequestered with a smoking stack of papers awaiting my all-powerful grading pen to sweep across them and pronounce judgment. Oh how I hate and despise grading… the allotment of merit upon a piece of work wrought by another. It’s not that I can’t determine if the content of most match my objectives… it’s just the uncommunicative merit of assigning points to a piece of work. Clearly some students have spent considerable time, thought, and effort at assembling information and communicating their concepts through the vehicle I have framed using certain criteria.

What I note as unfortunate is the inability to move beyond the barrier of the grade to have a constructive discussion regarding the content, the student’s efforts, and my questions regarding the paper or project. Yet with over one-hundred and twenty students such a monumental effort is beyond my comprehension. So I rustle through the pages, mining the tomes for meaning and alignment to my objectives. How accurate a measure is this of “learning” and the acquiring of new knowledge or the assimilation of information into one’s knowledge base? In my esteemed opinion one hindrance to providing a quality educational experience at ANY level is the ratio of students to teacher.

Well back at it eh? The end of the semester looms near and the students who share my class are hungry for feedback and knowledge of “the grade.”

By the by… I’ve been so encompassed with schoolwork, coursework, dissertation stuff I’ve been unable to muster the energy and time to alert all those folks who have been readers of my AOL journal. If any of you have the means please feel free to pass the word along that I’ve set up shop here? Much obliged.

Until next time… be well… achieve excellence… keep in touch. Take care of each other; it’s worth the grade.

26 Comments:

Blogger Stacy-Lynn said...

Glad we have reconnected.

Have a blessed holiday friend.

Hugs to you and yours,
Stacy

2:05 PM

 
Blogger Karen Funk Blocher said...

Michael - when you get a chance, you maywant to look at my tutorial on how to do your links:

http://outmavarin.blogspot.com/2005/11/oh-brave-new-world-quick-guide_17.html

I have already added you to my sidebar and so has Carly. I'll also mention you in tonight's entry, okay?

I can understand your problem with the grading. I'm sure you want to connect individually with ll of them, and give specific feedback, and you can't because there's too much of it. But perhaps you could add a few words here and there, if you don't already, just on those papers on which you feel the need to do it.

Karen

3:59 PM

 
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

I am continually frustrated by the amount of papers that have to be graded each semester. I graded this past weekend until my eyes fell out. I'm teaching all freshman comp. this semester, so you can imagine what that's like. I do have mandatory conferences with each student at least once a semester for a half hour. I love meeting with them and talking with them about what it means to be a writer, but we're talking about 100 students and it is beyond tiring. I dream of having fewer students and being able to spend more time shaping their thoughts about writing. I also dream of not having a student portfolio process at the end of the semester, which makes more work for me, less time for what "matters" (to me) about writing. Hang in there. We got our first snowfall today: very pretty!

5:46 PM

 
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

I am continually frustrated by the amount of papers that have to be graded each semester. I graded this past weekend until my eyes fell out. I'm teaching all freshman comp. this semester, so you can imagine what that's like. I do have mandatory conferences with each student at least once a semester for a half hour. I love meeting with them and talking with them about what it means to be a writer, but we're talking about 100 students and it is beyond tiring. I dream of having fewer students and being able to spend more time shaping their thoughts about writing. I also dream of not having a student portfolio process at the end of the semester, which makes more work for me, less time for what "matters" (to me) about writing. Hang in there. We got our first snowfall today: very pretty!

5:46 PM

 
Blogger Nikki said...

It appears that great minds think alike! LOL! Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

http://prairiemessiah.blogspot.com/

Here's my new home.

11:16 PM

 
Blogger Carly said...

((((Michael))))

So glad I found you the other day! Thanks goes to karen for leading me to you. Thank you for the wonderful comments you have left for me. They made my day. Take care love, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Always, Carly :)

12:06 AM

 
Blogger Candace said...

Glad I found you!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Candace

7:26 AM

 
Blogger onecrazymomto5 said...

Well I made it over here!! And I got you added to change notes so now I will be alerted every day if your page changes!! Miss you at AOHELL!!
Colleen

3:16 PM

 
Blogger V said...

Welcome!!
I`ve got you on alert!!

V

9:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Michael. Sorry about you having so much grading to do. As a homeschooling mother, I can relate. I wish I was one of your students though. : ) Have a super fantastic weekend. GBU, Shelly

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MIIIIICHAEL! MISS MISS MISS you hon'! I still don't have a good routine set for myself as it pertains to the exodi (if that's a word...hehe), so I've missed many of your entries lately. I've just popped over here from the new guest editor's place...she's pimping you hon'. YAY! Hope your Christmas/New Year was warm, safe and happy. ;) C.

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