A while back, I actually collected a few images of Gollum with expressive faces (because that is what I do in my spare time) and decided to whip that up into a blog post. For your reading pleasure, here are Michelle Greco’s stages of grading, or what every teacher experiences when reading mounds of crappy papers.
- Students turn in freshly printed (though probably not proofread) papers in front of you. You are hopeful that, unlike last time, you will not leave these to the last minute to spare yourself from a glut of student writing.
- You know you should begin grading…but you still need to finish that show on Netflix. Also, when was the last time the bathroom had a good scrub? This isn’t procrastination, it’s super productivity.
- You finally begin. And then you come across the first typo. Then the second. And then you read the sentence, “The two fictional short stories…are two great stories to compare life lesions,” and you know it’s going to be a long slog.
- A student makes a logic jump in his or her argument that defies all rules of time and space. (Alternately, “You keep using that word/argument. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”)
- Can it be? It is! A well-written student paper that makes a solid argument!
- If you have to read one more sentence beginning with the words “this shows that,” “in my opinion,” or “this relates back to my point of…,” you may just run screaming for the hills and never look back.
- A student writes a paper so terrible that you can freely fail it. You feel no remorse for the easy grade.
- You are two-thirds of the way done. So close! …And yet, so far.
- You’ve made it. You were bloodied, bruised, and beaten senseless by the gross misuse of language and reason in all those papers, but dammit, you have risen from the ashes triumphant. Now for some ice cream and a nap.