This might be the first blog I’ve written solely devoted to educational matters.
If I have a new year’s teacher’s resolution of any kind, it’s to try to reduce the emphasis on marks for students and parents. A losing battle these days, but I think it is vital. It alarms me how many students, even in grade 9, are marks-obsessed. I even had a fourteen year old once inform me, easily five years ago, that 88% on her first assignment in Drama was not going to get her into an Ivy League school. I tried to encourage her to relax at least until she got to grade 10.
This year, I am giving feedback about what students have done, more than how well it is done, in my somewhat subjective disciplines of English and Drama. I did it today in a class, and no one asked how much a given response garnered on the rubric. I am sure the questions will come when they receive the rubric, and actual grades.
Tomorrow, I intend to give back essays, filled with specific feedback and commentary about what they wrote, but I will not release the marks quite yet. I’ll let you know what the response is like.