02 October 2005

JHY with a few Irish friends Posted by Picasa

Drowning in Paper

So here we are about halfway into the fall semester, and naturally I'm drowning in paper.
I've got about 100 students this semester (as in most semesters)--about 50 freshmen in two sections of English Composition II and about 50 English majors in two sections of Advanced Critical Writing. I LOVE teaching these classes. The freshmen are so cheerful and in many cases eager, and I learn a lot from them about what "the kids" are doing and saying these days. The upper division students are dedicated--in most cases--to their work and generally have even given the reading some thought before coming to class.
But man, does the grading ever keep me busy! Writing classes are so work-intensive--people can't learn to write without doing lots of writing, and I have to evaluate everything my students write, so figure it out.
But one reason it's a little more stressful this semester is that I've decided I won't grade a paper with more than 3 grammar errors. When I hit error number 4, I get out the highlighter, highlight all the grammar errors, and then the student gets the paper back to correct the grammar before I'll go on and grade it. This results in a lot of loose ends, which I generally can't stand. But it's making them pay more attention to their grammar. Thank goodness for that, because I don't intend to teach it.
So, though it's making me crazy trying to keep up with who still owes me what, and then checking the corrections after they're done, it seems like this new procedure is worth the trouble.
But I still hate grading, and I'm still drowning in paper.