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.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last minute grading

Why am I blogging at 10:30 on a Sunday night of a three day weekend? Tomorrow is a wonderful, non-work day, with which I can do whatever I want, and Marc does not have swim practice, so I will even get to sleep in tomorrow. So what have I decided to do?  I have decided to grade more narratives...

I spent my whole afternoon (literarlly, from like 12:30-6:00pm) finishing preparations for the week and then grading narratives. The 5 week grades are due this week, and I made the narratives due at 11:59 pm on the last day of the marking period for this report card, and I'm pretty sure that the cutoff is at the end of the school day, so it is technically not really required that I include this assignment for this report card, but I would like to for several reasons. First of all, a lot of the students really need it to boost their grades (it is worth a lot of points). Second of all, I'd like to leave the sub with a clean slate. I promised the kids I would grade these stories whether or not I was on leave, but if I have a baby before getting them done, it could be nearly the 10 week before they all get a response. I really like to give much more immediate feedback, so this is certainly not ideal.  Thus, I would like to get them all graded this weekend.

There are about 90-100 of these essays. I have graded 18. That makes me nearly what, 20% finished? This is not really the best statistic ever, but its a start. I did spend time doing other work stuff today too, and I did go to church this morning and have lunch with the in-laws, so I can't say I spent the whole day working on them. But can I finish the other 70-80 of them tomorrow? I do not know. We shall see.

I do really enjoy reading some of these stories though. In this unit, I have students write narratives to submit to the publishers of Chicken Soup for the Soul for consideration. One year, a student even got published. This year's batch of stories so far seems relatively strong, particularly the honors students, and I would not be at all surprised if it produced another winner. Some of these stories are better than half the stuff I have read in those books. They really are talented kids.

You know what is really odd about me?  When I left work in a rush Friday to get to my doctor's appointment, I thought to myself, "Wow, I really hope I don't go in to labor this weekend."  You know what my number one reason for thinking that was?  Not these papers... not lesson planning that was still rather ambiguous...  not even the fact that my parents would be out of town. I couldn't get my mind off the fact that my desk has two big piles of paper on it that I need to sort through and take care of.  All weekend, as I was having braxton-hicks contractions and hoping to myself that I would not go into labor, the number one thing making me crazy is the thought of a sub walking in to two big piles of paper and thinking I am a disorganized slob.  I'm seriously insane if that is my biggest worry right now.

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