SOLSC 2015: Day 16

I wrote a whole post, then deleted it. Grading is a hot topic, I know. But I will say this: It’s the end of the marking period, which means I’m now hearing from parents and students who want extra credit or want to know what to do to bring a grade up. Guys: THIS is not the time. The marking period began in JANUARY. In my class, grades reflect what you earned on the work you did. At this point, my opinion on grades is they show (as best as I can get them to) what a students knows about a particular set of standards/topics at this particular point in time. That’s all I say about that at this point.

But, I will write a little bit more on a slightly different aspect of grades that is concerning me. People here are very concerned with grades. It is not ok for someone to get a C or below. Forget what a kid actually earned. I have a few kids who will do random things at home and just be like, “Here, put this in as a grade. I don’t like what I have.” Ummm. Or the parent who say, “X is not good enough. What are you doing to do?” Or the kids who ask, “Is this a grade?” for every single thing we do, and if it’s not for a grade they just won’t bother. Or the parent who got mad that I won’t grade everything and then asked, “Then what’s the purpose for him doing it?!?” and scoffed when I said it was a learning activity, something I wanted them to do to practice and review and know the information better.

GAH. I want kids to learn. To try new things and not be too terrified to fail. I want teachers and parents and students to feel proud of students when they’re trying their best. Sure, we need to help the kids who are struggling, and push those who don’t really need to do much work to get things. But the purpose of coming to school every day is not to just leave with an A.

There’s my rant for today. (Can you tell I’ve gotten a lot of questions/extra credit requests in the past few days? And grades are due Friday.)

In other news, it’s beautiful out today!!

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5 responses

  1. Like clockwork…ranting allowed.

    1. I don’t know why but this comment made me smile. I guess we’ve all been there!

  2. I completely understand! Grades are a totally meaningless piece of education because parents define their children by the letter or score and children define themselves and each other in the same way. A grade should measure a level of proficiency and inform the teacher, parents, and student what the student needs to work on to improve in the future. And that work comes through the practice assignments that we don’t grade, not because we are lazy, but because the assignment exists to further inform us of how much more we need to do with the student and provides additional practice for the student to become more proficient in the skill or concept.

    On another note. I’m glad my principal got rid of fourth quarter mid quarter conferences.

  3. Oh, I definitely feel you. We finished up the grading period right before Spring Break, and even though I reminded them multiple times that if they’re missing anything, it needed to be in by Friday, I know I will get kids/potentially parents asking what they can do in the 12 hours between the time I will see them Monday and the time my grades are actually “due.” I have to put a limit though, and some kids just need to accept their grades as they are. Like you said, if you are doing things right, grades should reflect their effort and mastery.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get rid of grades altogether? School shouldn’t be about grades – it should be about learning!

  4. Oh yes… if it isn’t for a grade, it’s not worth any effort, and even if it is for a grade, it’s still not worth the effort. There’s an expectation of success being automatic. It drives me crazy… and some days I feel as though there’s no interest in learning at all. I second the rant and raise it!

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