Emotional Grading

Like all teachers everywhere, I hate grading. Especially grading finals and final projects. The only way for grading finals to be fun is if the students exceed your expectations. That never happens. It’s nearly impossible for it to happen on the final exam because of the circumstances in which the final exam occurs. So most of us find ourselves grading final exams under a more-or-less crushing weight of frustration. Can it really be that my students learned so little this semester? Am I that awful of a teacher? How did I fail them? I feel uncomfortable with that guilt so I go immediately to fierce anger at them for all of the ways that they failed me. I have nothing smart to say about this — I need some distance to be able to reflect and I won’t get that until this grades are turned in. So I’ll keep grading, but try to think happy thoughts since I owe to my students not to pile my anger on top of them!