In a perfect world, I would not have to grade students like the one today who forgot her paper and symbolic mask, but she’d had a perfectly horrible weekend. (Still, if we don’t deduct a grade for late work, they’ll take advantage of us and continue this pattern, right?) Or the one who demonstrated so well her understanding of symbolism but forgot to cite her page numbers and sources. (Because the assignment said, CITE those page numbers, even if you are more excited about showing your understanding in other ways.) Or the boy who has lost all confidence in his writing but can explain to me the theme/plot/characterization of the book in minutes. (But if you don’t learn to write now, you won’t be able to go on to ninth or tenth grade, or you know, COLLEGE.)
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to assess them but could sit down on the carpet tomorrow and try it again. Because sometimes learning take time, and we don’t always “get” it by 2:40 on September 28.
Actually, in my perfect world, I wouldn’t give grades at all.
I wonder if in their perfect world, they’d do the work, if they didn’t get any grades.
I’d like to think so. Hey it’s my dream, right?