We've been experiencing the joy that is known as FINALS WEEK at Christian School this week. I call it a "joy" only semi-ironically - while it is far from joyful for the students, I and many other teachers really do adore it. See, while the kids take their 90-minute finals, what do we do? We catch up on grading, of course! Silent rooms for an hour and a half at a time, no performing required, no lesson planning, just productivity. Ah, sweet relief.
So while the kids suffer the torture of my ridiculously hard finals, I've been suffering the torture of grading. If grading could be "buffet-style," that would be what I've been doing this week - feeding at the grading buffet. A grading smorgasbord even. Vocabulary tests, narrative essays, lit exams - I was just missing the frozen yogurt bar.
As I graded, I wrote little notes on the high-scoring tests:
72 out of 74 - Great job!
70 out of 74 - Well done!
79 out of 82 - Good work!
And my personal favorite:
82 out of 82 - Excellent! :) (<-- Insert gold star here.)
[And yes, I really drew and arrow and wrote, "Insert gold star here." He's the kind of kid who would appreciate that humor more than he would appreciate any literal gold stars.]
It's all well and good to write those kinds of little encouragements. For one thing, it reminds the kids that I'm not totally heartless, which is a reminder they'll need when they see the grades they're getting on their finals. It also cheers me up a bit, because I feel like I'm doing something nice, even if it is something somewhat cheesy.
The problem comes with the... less-than-stellar grades. I can't actually write what I'm thinking on those papers, no matter how much I might like to. So instead, I'll write them here, for your enjoyment:
48 out of 74 - Yipes...
39 out of 82 - Holy Grade Sabotage, Batman!
55 out of 82 - Forget to study, did we?
37 out of 74 - Clown school is a-callin'...
26 out of 80 - Did you try at ALL?
24 out of 82 - WTF?!
3 out of 45 - I weep for you.
I'm pretty sure - pretty sure - that if I write any of those, I'll be fired. Or at least severely reprimanded. Sometimes, though, it almost feels worth it.
Apparently it's Delurking Day! To inspire you, I challenge you to write a comment grading something or someone. Tell us what or whom you're grading, what score you're giving, and what comment you're giving. Positive or negative - your choice. Ready, go, delurk!