Saturday, January 18, 2014

Actually Enjoying the Grading Process?

I am about to say four words that rarely come out of a teacher's mouth:

I am enjoying grading

Seriously. I am enjoying it. I'm currently grading my sophomores Asian Literature Portfolios. For this assignment, students took five different styles of writing that originated in various places in Asia and wrote their own versions. They not only had to write the pieces but explain what the pieces were and how what they wrote fits into that definition. They also had to dedicate the work to someone and give a short bit about themselves as the author. Not only did they write samples of 5 creative writing style but they also were allowed to make up whatever they wanted about themselves as the author. They could have become a Jedi, the doctor who cured cancer, or even a Time Lord. The sky was the limit as long as they kept their name the same.

I am laughing out loud as I read these. Some of my kids are hilarious and some of the kids who are hilarious are the quiet ones in class. They finally have the space to be the funny person they are without having to embarrass themselves. 

I am smiling at how touching some of the dedications are and how thoughtful the writings are. My students may sometimes appear shallow on the outside, but they have so much happening on the inside that they are afraid to show it. They finally have an outlet to express their feelings.

I even shed a tear at how moving one portfolio was. 

My students have written truly inspiring pieces. Out of my 65 sophomores, only 2 did not turn in the assignment. This is the lowest percentage of "missing" I've had to record. My students took the assignment I created and made it their own. 

They not only showed me that they learned something, but they actually enjoyed doing the learning. 

My teacher senses are getting warm and fuzzy because my students have actually enjoyed writing and learning. When my students enjoy what they do, they produce better work. When my students produce better work, I enjoy grading their work.

Now, if I could only figure out a way for them to enjoy writing essays.....

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