One of the biggest hurdles I cleared this week was grading. In a word, I’ve been awful at returning the homework and quizzes I’ve assigned my classes, but staying at school ’til 6:30 on Tuesday and Thursday helped me get back on track. I wasn’t prepared for how long grading would take … but at the same time, it was smart to take a while because I felt it was important to write notes on pages so my students know what I’m looking for from here on out.
Part of the reason it took so long was because I was trying to figure out what I was looking for. Do you take points off for grammatical errors, poor syntax and an incomplete answer, or do you write a note that says, “Next time, do X”?
Personally, I focused on the latter because of how I was in school. I always hated math and science because I’m not a fan of things that are exact; I love to be able to reason. And since all of my classes are based on discussions, I gave my students some space with which to explain themselves.
In all, it takes longer to grade when you read every word. But in the end, I think it’ll make the semester a lot easier on the students and myself because we’re on the same page.