I spent all day grading exams and am about halfway done. The first half always takes longer than the second half, but I still write too many comments and generally take too long on all of them. I comfort myself with the fact that for their third and final exam, since we're not even returning them, I won't have to write any comments. And, really, by that point I pretty much know which students are going to fall into which grade brackets--so I'll only have to skim the exams for my overachievers, at least. Unfortunately, I also know I'll take too long on those, since I always picture my B and C students studying and trying really hard in a last-ditch effort for the final... but then they score as their usual B and C selves. There are rarely surprises.
I am also slightly comforted by the fact that after I returned their first exams, one of my students actually thanked me, in section that day, in front of the rest of the class, for the notes I'd written, and said they'd been helpful. That never happens, and it was really validating. In fact, did I already blog about that here? I know I thought about it, because it was such a rare flash of encouragement.
I don't enjoy grading under any circumstances, but I will say it's more enjoyable to grade papers and tests for which one has designed the assignment. Grading another professor's assignments, by his or her standards, is always a challenge. One more reason I'm ready to be done with this degree.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010