Monday, March 22, 2010

Grading Test

Grading tests has really got to be one of the most time consuming activities that I've had to deal with in this country. 550 students. Tests that try to get the students to share opinions and think critically. While some give me these amazing answers, most of the others are somewhere on the moon. For the past few days, I've been grading papers. I hate the red pen. I hate the red Xs that I have to make when a student is wrong. And I'm too objective. "Well...I can see where he's coming from..." And I want to give the student the point just because his answer was interesting. Anything where they have to give their opinion, I generally give them all the points. Unless, it is blatantly obvious that they barely read the question and gave me a half-ass answer. The tests make me sad. I realize that most didn't study. Or they don't know how to, or simply didn't because they were doing other things. Some students work but most don't. I'm not sure what they spend their time doing. Maybe thinking about doing it, like I sometimes do. It's a sickness. But honestly, it makes me slightly depressed. I start to think about high school and the students that didn't try. Achievement is partially related to things you have no control over, but more than anything it's attitude. There are students here that have it all, in relation to others, not US standards, that perform so poorly, that just don't give a fuck. And then you have a students like Norman that have to come by bus an hour away, bring their notebooks to class smelling like firewood but they get it done. And they pay attention and they ask questions if they don't understand. I'm in love with my students. Some of them give me headaches and I think, what is going on in your head. But most of the time, I like observing them, listening to them, and talking to them. They crack me. On the tests, they make up answers. Hell, they make up words! Question: pais donde hubo conflictos etnicos entre los Hutus y Tutsis en 1994, causa de resentimiento de un grupo hacia el otro...answer: Musulmania...My dear student, as far as I know (and I studied International Relations), this country does not exist. Never had they heard about Rwanda. Never had they heard about the Holocaust until a month ago. But honestly, most of the topics that I teach them, they had never heard about.But they like them. And I find that the students miss our classes and ask me, "When are you going to come and teach us? It's just that your class is so nice." And its true. Those classes are my own special little time with them. Talking about real things affecting their lives. That's whats up.

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