Monday, January 28, 2013

To Grade or Not to Grade

I cannot imagine being a middle or high school teacher.  It's not just the age, and it's not just the HUGE number of students they be totally honest, it's that they're SO MUCH bigger than I am.

I feel the need to pay homage to these teachers who consistently work evenings and weekends both planning and grading.  They so totally rock in my little elementary school teacher eyes.

But...I'd also like to convey to them how much not grading some things is also quite effective learning-wise.  You see, my little guy is in eighth grade and has been assigned a journal writing assignment that he is to do each and every day.  Does he do it daily?  No.  Does he even do it at home?  No.  Does he do it on the school bus on the way to school the very day it's due?  Yes.  Does he get decent grades on it?  Yes.  Does his teacher actually read all of her 150 students' journals?  Absolutely not.  (I wouldn't grade them either, would you?)  Were they all well written?  Absolutely!!!  By golly, they were beautifully formed sentences and fully formed itty bitty stories.  And, yes, I will be keeping this journal forever!

Anyway, how do I know the journal entries aren't graded?

Well...they mostly focus around one topic.  Seriously.  And what is that topic?  Why, it's all about how he hasn't written his journal entries yet and is doing them on the bus (by the way, I do read his entries, that's how I know all about this).  There was one delightful entry that showed up early this six weeks that was a clear departure from the usual topic.  It's one that, unfortunately for you, my kid has denied permission to put on this here blog of mine.

But, I will say it's all about needing to poo.  Yup, if you know my kid, you are not surprised.  And, just as his other journal entries were beautifully written, this poem, too, reads like the lyrics of a beautiful song...the stanzas melodic and the rhymes divine.  I kid you not.  Poo can be writing, that is.

So, I thank you, eighth grade English teacher, for helping to create the great writer that my little guy is!!!


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