So today I wanted help. I did what comes naturally, I used social media and asked my PLN. I just wanted to know if anyone had a way of grading their students’ blog post. Instead I spent lunch in my room crying & questioning whether or not I suck as a teacher.
Let me back up to why my students blog. I am not an English teacher. I never grade written work based on grammar, spelling, nor on ideas. Because of RTI I need to have proof of assessment of my students. Instead of doing exit slips or worksheets or quizzes, I decided to let my kids blog about what they learn. They are given 2 questions to choose from and must answer one. Then they have another section where facts really mean nothing it is more opinion. I only grade on the factual information I never mark off points rather add.
So I asked today if anyone had a rubric or checklist or ideas on grading student blogs. That was it. I have to give grades. I would rather not give grades but since I do I want it on things like this where most kids are successful for making the effort than test they really have trouble with.
My “@” and DMs filled up pretty quickly. Thank goodness the bell rang for lunch because it did not take long for tears to flow. Yes everyone, I know it would be great to get kids to do work and not grade them. I understand we need to instill in them a desire to learn and share. I am all for that. But I have a job. I must fulfill my duties on my job, the job I almost lost 2 years ago because of parent complaints about grades.
I tell everyone how important a PLN is. I tell them it is like sitting next to the smart kids. Smart kids are mean. We need to take debates as they come but not when they aren’t. I never said “I love giving kids grades” or “Grades are just what kids need.” I asked for ideas to grade fairly.I asked if anyone else is doing it. Other than one of my teammates here at the school I don’t have anyone around that blogs with students. that is the beauty of the PLN, its more brains to pick.
On Friday I am meeting with each student on their 4 weeks of posts. I want to say: yes you did it correctly and I have great news, you are showing me you know this even though you did not test well, I know your grade is important to you and your parents and this will help you. Let me show you on this rubric & lets look at the posts areas you can improve on. I just wanted a rubric to help me do that.
I cannot tell where this debate idea comes from. I know as humans for us to advance we need questioning, we need advancement, we need a movement of change. But why is it we are so quick to question others when they are asking for help or excited about something they see they are doing well (I have seen this happen as well). Is it because we are online can say it and go? Is it because we are so angry at our system we take it out on each other? Would we say this to our coworkers if they came in our classroom and asked us a question?
Today has been rough. It started out exciting, fresh, new. So quickly I hit a wall because of this. I know I will think twice before asking for help ever again, and that upsets me even more.