In the unlikely event

So it looks like for the first time, I may actually surpass, not just meet, my own grading plan 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 the English exam was scheduled late in the exam week (also a whole ‘nother story) and there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for getting it all done.  Ivanhoe indicated that he’d be willing to extend the deadline for filing grades for us, but at the time, we all felt that that was not really a solution, given that we are beginning the new semester at the same time–much better to get it done.  I encouraged teachers to consider revising exams to streamline grading, maybe taking out short answers or other small pieces that are worth less and add to total grading time.  As long as we’re assessing what we think is important to assess, we are not stuck with any particular exam format.

So on Friday I received 68 exams and immediately went into action.  The Snork Maiden was celebrating the birthdays of two friends, so I stayed at school and started organizing–ran the Scantrons for the multiple choice sections, tidied up the electronic gradebook so that it was ready to calculate semester grades when the exam grades were added, and so on.  There’s a new electronic gradebook (wow, is that a whole ‘nother story!), so this was a bit of a task.  I was interrupted a couple of times by Orsino and by a flurry of emails about an eighth-grade student issue, but I managed to buckle down to my one-semester senior class (the overload, also the smallest class) and grade that.  Then on Saturday, I went to campus and spent about five hours (not counting more Orsino interruptions) to grade my two tenth-grade classes, except for three exams for students who have a learning accommodation to write their multiple choice answers rather than bubbling them in on the Scantron–I was bleary enough at the end that I decided to leave those for today.  (I was also feeling a little sick–headachy and flushed–though I feel fine today.  I did get my period and am now wondering if those symptoms could possibly have been hormonal rather than viral.)

Grading on campus, as long as I don’t get interrupted, seems much better for me these days than grading at home.  I’m going in again today, with the plan of grading my two remaining senior classes (the AP ones) and those last three sophomore exams, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to–it’s just about the same number of exams I did yesterday, and I will probably have the place mostly to myself.  Last year’s estimate of 4-5 exams per hour seems to hold true, including organizing and recording time–if I am just plowing through exams, I can go faster, but that’s only under the best conditions and after getting a feel for the range of ways students have responded to the essay. And I still need breaks, which are not included in the estimate.

If it all goes well, I will not grade on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and I’ll be able to go to a friend’s party without remaining exams hanging over my head.  The thought of how pleasant that would be should serve as a good motivator for me today!



One response to this post.

  1. Wow, I’m impressed! I hope that today’s grading goes well and that you actually have a day of rest before school starts again.


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