The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The best/worst part of my job.

I love reading student essays. I hate reading student essays. I know that makes no sense. I love reading like the first 10... and occasionally when I find a really great one sometime after that I love it too, but sometime around essay number 25, I start to go a bit batty.

They just all start to sound the same, and the grammar mistakes start to make me crazy. When they are English learners with serious issues (like the student who just said "I will be very thanking full"), that actually doesn't bother me, because I can see how they would make the mistake, and I know how hard they try, and I am happy to assist. What makes me crazy is all the little typos and careless errors made by students who know better. The left out is. The extra the. I know it sounds crazy, and at first it doesn't bother me, but the more papers I read, the crazier I get.

I have 70 papers left to read out of 100. It feels like I have been reading essays for days, so I do not know why I have only gotten through 30 of them. Probably because I really, sincerely want them to do significantly better on these revisions, so I am spending a lot of time commenting on each. Nonetheless, the thought of reading 70 more of these is making me crazy.

If it were a different situation, I would space them out better and give myself a couple of weeks, but my lesson plan for this week depends on them all getting their papers back by Wednesday/Thursday (period 1 on Wednesday, period 4,5,6 on Thursday), so that they can spend some time in class revising them for perfection, and then we can actually mail these suckers on Friday. This means that I must, must, must get through several more papers tonight. I don't want to pull an all-nighter on Wednesday night.

Ugh... hopefully, it will all be worth it. I know that they are excited about this project, and they are excited about the possibility of seeing Shakespeare live. That excites me, so if I can just keep that bottom line in mind, I can get through this.

Which reminds me.... some of my students are short on ideas for people to send their sponsorship letters to (I asked them each to come up with 5). If any of you would like to receive a letter, send me an email at I promise the students will not stalk you or anything (that student is no longer in my class anymore. j/k); they will just send you a letter trying to persuade you to be a $10 sponsor of their field trip.

Bleh... enough wasting time blogging. Back to the papers.

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