Sunday, May 18, 2014


I just finished grading my students' writing proficiency exams. (Yes, teachers grade these.  No, we aren't paid to do so, it's just something that's expected to get done.)

Some of them did a great job with their expository pieces.  For their task, they were given two short informational articles to read and respond to.  In their responses, they were expected to refer back to the text for evidence and write with a problem and solution text structure.  This was their end of year task.

However, upon grading these papers, I became increasingly disappointed.  This frustration during grading is one of the hardest things for a teacher.  The "I know I taught you this!" runs through my mind quite frequently.  There were lots of careless mistakes by many of my students.  

One turned in two drafts, basically saying pick which one is better.  

One wrote a single paragraph.  Not once in the past ten months of school has a single paragraph been a satisfactory answer.

Several turned in work that wasn't complete.

One used no punctuation whatsoever. 

One wrote "thank you for reading my paper" while another ended with the dreaded "I hope you like it."  Neither of  these are appropriate closings.  We've addressed both of these big writing no-no's on every single paper we've written.  These two clearly didn't listen.

Another decided not to use any paragraphs, another wrote no name, another went completely off topic and the final completely disregarded the audience and wrote as if she was writing to her friends and not a formal piece of academic work.

Not a single one used the sentence stems for quoting accurately from a passage.  The sentence stems we went over and have been using all year were completely disregarded.

This is frustrating as a teacher.  I feel disappointed in their essays.  They rushed and I have to score them lower then I'd like because of their silly mistakes.  This is one of the hardest parts of being a teacher.

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