To Put it Bluntly…

I get frustrated when I grade sometimes.

One semester, I asked my students to write a note in the comments section of where they turned in their assignments online. Essentially, the note was to detail where they goofed up so that I knew that they knew they goofed up because, really, I’m going to catch their mistakes anyway. And, really, I was tired of trying to say things in a way that was more “teacher-esque” constructive criticism than just plain blunt statements. I needed a way not to waste all of my energy.

Here’s what I mean.

  • Teacher-esque: Your work was fairly good but you need to focus on your spelling and grammar. At times, I was unsure of what you were trying to say.
  • Blunt: This was awful and I hated reading it because it’s clear that you didn’t double check your work.
  • Teacher-esque: Most of your work was solid but you did have some issues along the way that added up to hurt your score. Let me know if you have questions.
  • Blunt: Follow the directions. READ and follow the directions. Follow. The. Directions.

I really wish I had thought to do that again this semester, particularly when I found myself yelling the following at my laptop the other night as I graded a student’s assignment:

“This is the kind of work you turn in when you’re ON something! Are you high?! What IS this? Are you high?! You must be to turn this in to me! I mean, what kind of garbage is this?!”

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