I HATE Grading Papers: A Song of Lament As Second Quarter Closes In

Maaaaaaaan, listen. I have found myself AWASH in piles of papers. Piles. Literally stacks on deck–but not the stacks I need and def no patron on ice cuz yo girl cannot afford to have whatever she likes. Plus, Jesus delivert me from alladat drankin allatahm, so there’s that.

Regardless. None of what I just said matters EXCEPT HOW MUCH I HATE GRADING THINGS. Suuuuuuucks. Sucks.

I can guarantee that I am not alone.

Show me a veteran teacher, and I’ll show you a teacher who has rigged a system that minimizes the amount of times s/he puts pen to paper. How many papers s/he even takes up, let alone slaps an actual percentage on. I’ve seen the systems. Elaborately easy, almost asinine ways to assign value–or lack thereof–to student work, planning (by the excellent ones) driven by mental data on every, single child they see doing and being. On some expert level type ish, ya dig.

I’m not there yet.

Show me a teacher who enjoys grading, and I’ll show you someone who loves control, content over kids, and condemnation.

I think the word that describes the feeling may be schadenfreude–that kinda mean pleasure at someone else’s misfortune. Teachers who enjoy grading papers like to watch kids’ countenances fall when that F gets slapped down in they little faces. Sadists. Straight scan, as the kids say (ask yo black friend with middle school children what scan is if you got lost for a minute).

But me? Man listen. Grading papers is a fiery trial.

Every time they’on get it, every question they miss, I feel the sting of my own failure. I could have run my class better. I could have taught the concepts more thoroughly. I could have took more time on it. I could have… sigh. Straight indicted. It’s an exercise in self reflection and self flagellation at da same tahm. Judge. Jury. Jail time.

Meanwhile, in typical “laying on the altar of self sacrifice”, my lazy butt decided to teach with sincere mastery as the focus, striking test items, reteaching, small grouping, conferencing, and allowing for corrections and late work because the goal is mastery, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Right. Thing is, e’erthang I just listed puts me in the belly of the grading beast. Like, Piles. Shoooooo, some piles I don’t even know what the piles ARE, ya dig? No rhyme or reason. Just whatever, whenever, THEY can have whatever THEY like.

So as the holiday season begins and second quarter ends, I find myself considering putting some assignments in FILE 13, fam (ask yo mama nem what that means). And like I said, if you ain’t a teacher, I swear you won’t get what I’m saying. Do you know the level of feedback I’m drowning in? I RESPOND when I grade. I ask questions to help them fix the issue. I show them how to get back on track. I make ways outta no ways.

I’m so exhausted.

All I want is a nice Chablis, a fried turkey, and some good books. I don’t wanna look at another parallel line/transversal combo; no more godforsaken equations or formulas solving for x then y or F then C. Definitely no mo polygons with interior and exterior angle sums. God take me if I have to explain adding unlike denominator fractions to 8th graders again (thanks elementary teachers who only teach math on Mondays!).

Bruh. Where CALGON AT? Matter fact…

Rant aside, I have 4 days to complete these treacherous stacks. Lord help me to hold out. And if ANYBODY wanna bless the woman of God, I have answer keys. And coffee.


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