Alright. I finally finished all my damn marking from placement. I can picture people my classmates looking at me strangely. Well, I had to mark pretty much everything the students touched. I didn't agree with it, but again, I have no power.
The point of evaluation is to collect data to see if kids understand what you're teaching them. As much as it's their grade, it's also a statement on how well they're being taught. Regardless, if you don't have enough data, the marks you have are worthless. Kids have bad days like everyone else. Maybe you caught them on a bad day. There are a ton of factors that could contribute to a poor performance. Likewise, if you have too many evaluations, the data and the marks are equally worthless. Kids get so overwhelmed that they're just doing the work as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next thing. You aren't getting a true picture of what they can do. On top of which, if you mark everything, you're devaluing evaluation for the students. It's tempting to think that they would work harder because they know it's evaluated, but that's really not how it works. If you give a kid a piece of candy every day, they'll be excited about it for about a week if you're lucky, then they won't give a crap. Same thing with evaluation. You'll just be adding to their workload, to their stress levels and diminishing their work ethic (ironically), the quality of their work and just for kicks, their desire to learn.
I don't think people realize what I mean when I say that I evaluated pretty much everything the kids touched. Nor do I think they understand why I wasn't able to finish it while on placement. Well, I counted all the assignments I marked during the six weeks I was out there. I'd marked 27 different assignments. Let's for fun pretend that all the kids handed in their work (which they didn't). But if they had, I would have marked 648 papers. My best guess is that I still marked somewhere in the neighbourhood of 620 papers. And yes, I read every word. If the kids had to write it, I felt it was only fair that I had to read it. Also, by papers, I'm including tests, an essay, handouts of various lengths, writing assignments... so, not always single page stuff.
I cannot wait to bring it all back to the kids. I cannot wait to leave that school without that bin under my arm. On a lighter note, I'm also kind of excited to see the kids again. Kind of hope they have a certain someone ready to pull her hair out. It's not obvious at all where my loyalties lie. I hope the kids I taught knew that about me if they knew nothing else. Actually, I have to say that the highest compliment (I consider it to be the highest compliment anyway) that someone has paid me this year is: "It's obvious you really care about your students". So maybe they did know.
Perhaps I should stage a coup... you know... in my spare time.