Essays Kill

In a stack of papers called Grading.

  • Apr
  • 02
  • 2006

I just got off the phone with a friend and fellow teacher. While talking about whether or not to get breakfast together (we decided we’d do it next week instead of today; I think the hour change messed us both up a bit), she asked, “Are you going to do any school work today?”

2 sets of 2 Siddhartha quizzes. 1 set of personal narratives. 1 set of essay rewrites. Another novel unit for something we’re picking up Monday or Tuesday. New vocabulary units. STAR test-prep overheads. Graphic organizers. That’s not the full list, it’s just where I’ll stop.

“Yeah. I’ll get something done today because I didn’t do anything yesterday.”

And in the list of everything I have to do, the essays are always the reason for procrastination. Those essays are the worst thing to face. If there is writing that I have to evaluate within the stack of work I have to do, I’d rather do laundry, clean my house, empty the cat pan, sweep leaves, dust, vacuum, or scrub bathroom grout than start grading.

And, naturally, once I actually start grading those essays, it’s no where near as bad as I’d thought. It takes 2 or 3 days for 1 set, grading slowly. It can take fewer than 12 hours for 3 sets when grading quickly. It’s just getting over the inertia that makes essays kill.


1. Debbie says:

[4/3/2006 - 1:48 pm]

So true. Instead of grading essays this weekend, I organized my bills and receipts, which was TWO+ YEARS OVERDUE. It took all day Saturday and some of Sunday. I got exactly one essay graded.

2. Kathy says:

[4/7/2008 - 6:48 pm]

I feel exactly the same way. Sometimes the stacks of ungraded work can be stifling. I keep telling myself that I will try to correct a certain number at a time. I have tried several different approaches-shorter essay assignments, peer editing (this actually worked well for works cited pages) and even letting my students to pick their “best piece” out of four for grading. I try not to look at every little thing, but it is hard for an English teacher. Procrastination is the major problem here and if you are anything like me, grading essays is not the only area in your life in which you procrastinate.