Saturday, December 11, 2010


This time of year is always consumed with grading, and even though life has not been normal for the past few days, the grading we shall always have with us. Tuesday was supposed to be the final deadline for my kids to turn in their writing, and of course we didn't have school on Tuesday, so it's still trickling in, dropped off by parents at the office or emailed to me. I have been plugging away at it, but it has seemed slower going than normal. I am distracted and it's hard to stay motivated.

I find that I have to pace myself with grading. If I try to do too much at one time, I either start being too generous and just slapping grades on things (which is what my students would like), or becoming hypercritical and marking kids down for not being Nobel Prize winners (which is what happens more often). When I find either extreme happening, I have to stop and take a break.

I am sad that the semester is ending this way, and that we won't have a chance to read our children's stories to preschoolers (we'll do it in January), or read the rest of the Christmas poetry I had prepared, or finish What Child is This? before Christmas, or play silly word games on the last day. These are minor pri manifestasyon, but they matter to me.

I sometimes still think of those lesson plans that were on my desk the afternoon of January 12th, great lessons for the next day and the rest of the week that never got taught. You make your plans, put in your time preparing, but you just don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. All you can do is be faithful today, in this moment. It's a lesson that Haiti has taught me, and the earthquake reinforced it more memorably.

And being faithful today, in this moment, means more grading. And more, and more!

1 comment:

Sarah SSM said...

"The grading we shall always have with us." Thank you for making me laugh in the midst of my sadness about all that is happening and has happened this year in Haiti. I used to teach French, and now my sister has begun teaching math and science, and it seems that no matter where you are, some things don't change!

Thank you, too, for a reminder about the need to be faithful in the little things and particularly about that sort of faithfulness which is the best response in the face of uncertainty.