I hate grading. It’s kinda funny because I didn’t really care about grades when I was in high school. I loved learning, but since I knew I was going to a two year college, and I didn’t care much for my future anyway, I never bought into the stress of grades. Boy has that changed. When you are a teacher, grades are the worst, and I’m not alone in those feelings. Our students are more stressed than ever when it comes to grades and college, and this is making kids care more about achievement, than helping others. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about grades over my last 21 years of teaching, let’s both go down the rabbit hole of grading and see what we discover.
I put everything in this post as a picture so you can use and share each idea a little easier.
I did this last time and people seemed to like it, so here is your soundtrack for this post.
If the text is too small for you to read, just open this Google Slide Presentation and read it full screen. The entire post on grading is in this presentation.
PS: In our district we don’t use +s and -s. It’s just a B. This drives me crazy. I have to give the same grade to a student with an 89 as to that student with an 80. This is why I tend to bump students’ grades. It’s not systematically accurate, but it’s the right thing to do, until we fix the system.
PPS: There is an economic element to the most recent raising of the stress bar for teachers, parents, and students when it comes to grades. Universities are more expensive and more difficult to get into than ever before. Most of this is economic in that Universities want the full tuition paying students from abroad and outside the state, AND they want more students to apply to their school than can get in. They want to build a desperate craving for entrance. When schools raise the number of students applying to them and lower their acceptance rate, they get a better credit rating from the credit rating institutions. The middle class is now caught in a surreal game where everyone is out to “cut off their heads.”
We can ask students and parents to “not buy into this stress and game” but kids are just kids, and it’s hard for parents to maintain emotional distance in the process. As professionals what can we do to push back or ease the situation. What indeed…
Other resources, articles, posts about grading that you might want to read.
“Averaging Grades? Just Stop” by Neil McNeil
“Why Girls Tend To Get Better Grades Than Boys Do” by Enrico Gnaulati
“Are Grades Utterly Useless” by Bill Ferriter