The trivial round, the common task

So for one of a very few times in my entire teaching career, I have set myself a schedule for the completion of exam grading and I have stuck to it.  All my exams are graded.  I have some calculations to make, and have to record everything, finish prepping my classes for tomorrow, and the like, but the huge bolus of exam papers no longer blocks my path.

I still haven’t really experienced my fantasy, which is finishing the daily grading quota early and then enjoying the sensation of liberty for the whole rest of the day.  Instead, I’ve broken the day’s quota up into several chunks and scattered them throughout the day.  This seems like less fun than getting it all done early, but for whatever reason, I’ve just been unable to lock myself in grading jail for that long.  Morning is a good time for me and I need it for other things, like exercise, stuff around the house, writing biz, maybe even writing (although I really prefer the evening for writing unless I am under nearly no time pressure for anything else).

I think I will have ended up spending 13-14 hours on grading over 5 days, which is really not too bad–an average of under 3 hours a day.  It averages out to 4-5 exams per hour, but the first couple of hours were just reading and norming with Orsino, and the last couple of hours I’ve been grading 3 exams in 20 minutes, if they’re all pretty much in the (large) middle of the pack.

I don’t unconditionally love semester exams as a measurement of student achievement, but since these are both AP classes, at least I can be satisfied that students have had a chance to show me their progress in responding to the AP-style essay prompts, and to get more practice doing them.  They’ll write papers or make presentations at the end of the year, so we won’t go through this again.  Actually, isn’t that weird?  I won’t have any exams to grade in June.  (Of course, I will have all those papers–but I like those better.)


3 responses to this post.

  1. Congratulations! I don’t think that I have ever, ever, stuck with a grading schedule for myself. I hope that you can enjoy your newfound (and temporary, as is the way with these things) freedom.


  2. […] not too late to make and stick to a (revised) grading schedule, wherein I grade 15 things a day–a mixture of my juniors’ final papers and my […]


  3. […] for exams!  We have January exams (that’s a whole ‘nother story); last year I actually stuck to a schedule for grading them, and this year the whole schedule thing has been feeling even more urgent, since […]


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