Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grades always make me thinks too much

Goal of the week: to get the goals for my program so I know what I should be doing. That would be a great idea. I need to get a copy of these from my graduate college adviser to make sure that I'm doing exactly what my program needs me to be doing. Yay.

Today is test day. It's peaceful and quiet. It's also a standardized test day. My students are upset with me for testing them on a standardized test day since some of our juniors and seniors are not in class to take the test. Frankly, I need to give them a test before the end of their grading period. The end of the grading period is Friday.

It's been recommended to me that I should give my students unit tests every two weeks and a quiz to show them how they're doing between every unit test.

I don't know if that will work with my students. I don't know what will work with my students. They miss school so much that it's amazing that some of them are going to make it at all. It's amazing that people pass them. I'm amazed that I do.

I've been grading the tests all day. The grades tend to range from ok to scary. There are no great grades. I think my highest score out of all of my classes was a 45 out of 50. And I do not write these tests to be very hard. Additionally, I allow them to get half of their missed credit back instead of curving the test. I think I won't do that anymore because it allows it that most of my students do not fail. Not that I want to fail them, but I want to give them grades that represent their level of learning in my class.

Grades are assessments of how well I am teaching and how well they are learning. It should be 50/50 in that regard. I need to teach the material so that it is easy to understand and at least mildly fun. It does not need to be fun all the time or I am reinforcing the idea that life is all fun and games, everything is easy, and your education should not be difficult. It needs to be difficult and they have to work for it because life is like that and I need to prepare them for that. Their classwork needs to have limits on when things are due and when you can turn things in because life is like that. Life is not a free-for-all where you can turn in whatever you want when you want. My class needs to be a balance of all of these things at all points in time.

That, and a balance of about 1,000,000 other things.

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