Blogs, Grading

Grading woes

I really do enjoy teaching. Working with students, getting to discuss mathematics, and writing lectures truly are my idea of fun. However, there is always something about a job that feels like work. For me, that’s grading. The first couple of exams seem worthwhile as I get to see how well the students understand what I’ve shown them. After that, though, the process quickly gets monotonous.

I had two exams last week. Over the weekend, I sat and stared at the exams I needed to grade. The pile of papers just seemed too daunting to take on, so it just sat there undisturbed.

I had really hoped to get the grading done today because I have two more exams to give tomorrow. I know the larger stack of papers will make it more difficult to get started.

Paula is working today, so I have to watch Arthur while I try to get this grading done. So, I sat down at the desk with my papers and let Artie play on the floor. In the time it took to grade a problem and look back up, Arthur had grabbed a pencil and was drawing on the wall. I suppose I should have been worried or upset. Instead, I was happy. I had an excuse to take a break from grading, even though I hadn’t actually done any.

I took the pencil away from Arthur, cleaned the wall and looked back at the stack of papers. As I was about to start grading, I decided I’d rather write about what happened.

So here we are, I’ve gotten no grading done. I continue to get distracted and, being honest, I’ll probably just end up playing with Arthur all night while I ignore the exams.

While I am definitely just venting about the work I have to do, I hope that some of you can understand my plight. If you read this and think, “I love grading what’s his problem?” Then I would implore you to tell me how you do it. Is there some way to make grading easier, some secret to keep the process from becoming monotonous?

If not, can we go with the Office Space method, ‘Can you just hypnotize me so that I think I’ve been fishing all day?’

Thanks for reading, if you have any suggestions for me, leave them below. However, my students have already told me just to give them all ‘A’s so that I don’t have to grade. While tempting, it is still important to give feedback to students, so that doesn’t really work.

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