I have always hated grading papers.
It is right up there with watching state-mandated online training modules and filling out our labyrinthian teacher evaluation as one of my least favorite parts of the job.
Before moving on, I want to make it clear though that I don’t mean reading or responding to student work when I say “grading.” As I discussed earlier this year, grading and responding to student work are often used as synonyms, but they are actually highly different tasks. Feedback is the act of giving students information that they can use to grow and move forward; grades, on the other hand, are static markers meant to communicate to the student and others where a student’s skills are right now. And as a teacher, I have always felt much more comfortable with helping students chart a path forward than I have with rating them.Continue reading “Why I’ve Gone Grade-Less”