I posted on a blog by Tense Teacher about some of my ideas on grading. When I first started teaching I put 20-30 minutes into each paper I read. I had positive comments, suggestions for stronger arguments, possible examples to consider using, grammatical and syntactical errors noted, sentences restructured, and word usage problems labeled. I did a great job!
My host teacher looked at me and said, “Who are those comments for?”
This stunned me. “They’re for the kids, of course” was my reply.
“No, they’re not.”
I didn’t get it. I furrowed my brow and must’ve looked lost because he continued with “you wrote those comments as if you were rewriting their papers. If they do what you just told them, the papers will be yours and not theirs.”
I thought about that for quite a while, not really knowing what to do differently. The education gurus in college don’t tell you how to do these things. Maybe a post for another day is what the education departments at universities don’t teach, but today grading is my focus.
So…the first question I focused on was: what purpose is served by how I grade student work?
I can’t say I formed a perfect answer, but this did lead me to decide how I wish to grade my students, why I grade the work, and what should be graded.
To be continued…