5 Tips for Teachers Who Want to Quit Grading

I would wager that grading is probably the very least favorite element of teachers’ jobs. (I would also guess this is quickly followed by complaining parents and senseless, top-down mandates.) We’ve all had the fantasy of the perfect teaching job that would exist if only we weren’t bogged down in numbers and rubrics and gradebooks. […]

So, I Quit Grading: Part III, A Conclusion

Before reading this post, you might want to catch up with my grand grading experiment this year in my first post and second post in this series! I cried at graduation this year. No, that’s not right. I sobbed at graduation this year. Something that has never happened to me in the previous 10 graduations […]

So, I Quit Grading — Part II Update

This year, I quit grading almost entirely. While I still give quarterly grades (because my students have to have them!), I do not grade individual assignments. I’ve given up traditional grading for many reasons that I explain in my first post on this topic, but the biggest of the reasons is this: I don’t think […]

So, I quit grading …

Grades — good or bad — tend to make us do unproductive things. Each September, when I assess my students’ first piece of writing, processed and polished, leave feedback, and return it to them, one of two things happens: students who did well give a great sigh of relief and check English class off of […]

Beyond Notebook Time: The Journal Explode Essay

With thanks to guest contributors Kevin Mooney, rumored to be the inspiration for the teacher John Keating replaced, he is a lead teacher at North Hagerstown High School in Washington County, Maryland and is in his 22nd year in education.  Liz Matheny, AP Language and Composition teacher in Frederick County, Maryland. (Check out a great […]

Managing Independent Writing

I love a giant leap. A big swing. I want to tell you that I carefully research, weigh, and plan each and every instructional decision that rolls forth from my desk. But I don’t. More often than not, I don’t think all that much.  I come up with a wild “What if?”, jump, and see […]