Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pretty Sure That's a Grading No-No

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!


tpiglette said...


That is all.

(I'm too graded out to do your challenge right now, but maybe I'll share something later.)

Lady M said...

I'm here!

No response on grading, as the commentary in my head during long meetings is probably best left unsaid.

Good luck finishing up the semester!

tali said...


My grading for the day:
Lara's blog: A+ :)

A. Nonny Mouse said...

You could probably do the Yipes. And another suggestion: OUCH. Because that is very likely what they will be thinking when they get the grade back.

And, this is my first comment during this year's delurking day, belated though it may be. I comment occasionally, but not very often. Will try to comment more. Promise.

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm so not a lurker...

I am famous in CHS for my "REALLY?!" I say it a lot, and I even have a "REALLY?!" face (in fact, when someone does something dumb, the other kids will find me in the crowd, make the face, and say "REALLY?!" I love it).

I've actually written "REALLY?!" on tests before (but I work in a public charter arts and technology school, not a private Christian school; I'm SURE the rules are different).

I'm going to give Keith Olbermann an A for this:

If this were a writing assignment, I'd respond with "Keith, this is calm, concise, and relevant, while at the same time expressing, with no room for doubt, the intensity of your reaction to the comments of Limbaugh and Robertson. While I would be hesitant to echo the rhetoric of those you mean to call out for their thoughtlessness, I appreciate the effect that has, and I really do think that this short piece says everything it needs to say in a way that none can mistake. Well done; full credit."

morgan said...

Here's a comment suggestion for you:

"You just made Baby Jesus cry"

I think that would be superb at your school! :)

Of course, I'm the same person who thought that Mom, while visiting the campus, should have worn a shirt that said "My Other Daughter is Married to a Woman."

Too funny.

Still Jill B said...


I don't grade students, but I deal with managing faculty and responding to their drafts of grants. The notes on my copy (when I'm reviewing) say things like, "REALLY??!!!" (underlined 3 times)

franz said...

I'll grade your work clothing since I'm, you know, a huge authority figure on fashion:

A+. The gray shirt, skirt, and boots outfit is particularly smashing. * (<-- silver star; I think gold wouldn't go well with the subdued tones.)

bernthis said...


Rush Limbaugh comments re: Haiti-F- Are you fucking kidding me?

oh and no gold star, to be sure

Lisa said...

Oh, if my kids could hear the things I'm saying when I'm grading.... they would all be crying!