In previous posts, I’ve declared I don’t grade at home, but I’ve just proved myself a liar.
During this Thanksgiving break, I’ve spent at least 10 hours grading four class sets of five-paragraph argument essays. And I’m not even done yet. Ten more essays wait in my backpack. Hours ago, my resolve to knock them out crumbled like an overbaked Christmas sugar cookie.
So why exactly am I stuck grading for hours while I’m on vacation?
- I can’t get ahead this year. No matter what I do, my workload just increases. For starters, I have two different preps. Then for major writing assignments, I allow students to revise for better grades, so I’m constantly regrading. I’m also battling with finding time to reteach skills to students who need extra help, respond to parent emails, analyze data, etc. I barely found time to start grading these essays last week at work, so I took them home over the break in an effort to not feel so overwhelmed at school on Monday.
- It’s taking me longer to grade because the grammar is cringeworthy. Y’all. It’s that bad. Run-ons are an epidemic. Rambling is the norm, and the awkward syntax is fascinating, horrifying, and soul-crushing. I’m either choking down sentences that make no sense, or drowning in independent clauses comprised of millions of tiny words that say nothing. Normally, I could grade all these essays in seven hours, tops. But essays written with poorly constructed sentences are more time consuming for me to grade, and an inordinate number of them fall into this category. Why? Why? Why? P.S. When did the random capitalization of common nouns become a thing?
Whew. I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. Now does anyone want to grade those last ten essays for me so I can relax with the latest Jodi Picoult novel? Pretty please?