Monday, November 2, 2009


The worst of the grading is behind me! I've been somewhat quiet here because of it. While I haven't graded "solid" for the past 2ish weeks, I've graded a lot. I still have a little more to do tomorrow, but then I will get a slight reprieve.

This last bit of grading has been interesting - even though it was painful to do. The first bit showed me that while my students "know" what to do, they didn't know how to "do" it. This revelation prompted a "Come to Jesus" discussion with them that was probably at the right time. The next set of papers - this time, the actual lesson plans that they will be implementing - that came right on the heels of the first set was overall much better. I only had a few who had to redo.

Which leads to the crux of the grading dilemma.... There is a school of thought that says, "If they don't get it right, then they fail." And then there's the school of thought that says, "If they don't get it right, remediate and let them try again." I tend to fall into the second school of thought - not always, but certainly in this case. Because with this case, if they don't get it right, then they can't teach. I'm not going to let my students flounder with poorly developed lessons, because if they fail, so do the children they are teaching.

Every one of them is going out there with "good" lesson plans - and by good, I don't mean perfect, but certainly doable. Some are more doable than others, but I think all of them will teach them something about the planning process when it comes to teaching. One can't factor in the student variable... one can't figure out what students will "get" and what they "don't get." Just as I did not imagine that I would still be grading lesson plans the night before they are due to be implemented... but I did. With experience, they will have a better chance of knowing what will work and what won't, but it isn't an exact science.

These women genuinely want to do well, and I know that I'm sending them out there with enough feedback to be successful. I hope that for the most part they nail it. I also hope that on some levels they don't, because sometimes the greatest teacher is failure. Either way, they will emerge stronger, more competent teachers.

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