Let's Help Each Other Out!

This is a place for creative writing teachers to share idea to be come better teachers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Did I make the grade?

     I'm working from my own subjective observations, but it does seem with each passing year students become more and more grade obsessed in creative writing.   It used to be that the students who took creative writing did so because they wanted to, and they were more into learning.  Now some students take the course to avoid taking technical writing. That's OK. They may discover by accident a genuine love.

    I didn't think they could become more grade obsessed, and then they surprise me by doing so. Cart before the horse. Symbols more important than reality. Etc.

    I now have students coming to my office to have me read their assignments. I tell them to read it out loud to me.  I offer suggestions.  Before they leave, they will ask me if the paper is an A.  This, in spite of a large sign I have posted near them that reads basically: I can't give you a grade in my office. I have to see your work in the context of the rest of the class.

     Some students send me their papers as attachments in an email the night before an assignment is due.  Sorry Charlie.

    Sorry for all the bitchin'.  Grades do seem to be effective in motivating students. That's good. Maybe tomorow I'll go in and write on the blackboard, "Where's the love?" 
    See what they have to say.

     Any suggestions? How is it where you are at?

     Years ago, in an experimental era, I assigned no grades, and had interviews with each student, with their papers in front of me, to decide what grade they should get.  Some of the hardest working and best performing students would humbly and honesty say they deserved a C, while sometimes a student who'd done little all semester but was good at the gab, would say s/he deserved an A.

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