For the English Teachers Out There
A coworker of mine, an experienced instructor, used a telling phrase in the office a few days ago (emphasis added):
"I've got some papers to correct, do you want to help?" the teacher said jokingly to a colleague.
I phrase the same thing as "I've got some papers to grade." We correct them in class, and then the students turn them in. Without the in-class corrections, I balk at grading papers -- it would very frustrating. In fact, the only essays that get a "low" grade are the ones for which the student skipped out on the in-class correction.
I find that this process prevents me from having to "put out fires," and instead to comment on the relative quality of the essay's development and thought. The grading process is an afterthought for me, really; it's hard to take grading seriously. I could give everyone an F for not writing like me; this would be a "grade-punishment" model, which I suspect is the instructor's method. Perhaps my method could be an "edit-revise-praise" model.
All I have to do is think back to my first grad school paper to remember the trauma of writing and then having someone grade it. Ouch.
Now it's time to grade that fat stack.
No profanes - sacred