Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The first semester is ALMOST over! I don't like the beginning or the ending of school; I love everything between except I really detest grading the fall finals. I have roughly ninety-five students and all my exams are hand corrected, eleven page tests that average about 530 answers. I'm almost done with the first semester finals. In case you read last night's entry, all five of my students with 100 averages made.......100! The following, from April 7, 2006, is about grading.
This was the last day of the six weeks. Someone came up with a brilliant idea- all final days of grading periods have an early release at 1:00 pm. With several extra hours, teachers can finish grading papers and recording grades. I have to admit I resisted the introduction of computers into the report card business. I'm now convinced it is the greatest innovation in education EVER, with the possible exception of Spring Break. The grades calculate themselves on our computer program called Gradequick. No more poring over strings of numbers! By 3:00, I was completed with the six weeks and headed for my apartment. Five six weeks are now in the book with one to go. The home stretch has begun!
Last Monday was Opening Day for major league baseball. All thirty clubs had an identical record. Every team, at least theoretically, began with an equal chance to make it to the World Series. Next Monday, my classes start all over again. On Monday, each one of my one hundred and five students will have a clean slate. They all return to the starting line, grade-wise. The separation will begin shortly thereafter. I hope all of them will make an A but realistically, I'm confident that will not happen. Some will miss only several points total in the twenty-five or so scores recorded next to their name while some will struggle even to pass. Most will occupy the middle ground. But for one day, all are equal in the sight of Gradequick. Maybe it's like a do-over when we were kids playing baseball in the parking lot next to our house. Grace flowed freely in those summer games...on some days. Forgiveness, I think, is like the new grading period. The Lord's forgiveness is complete, never partial. Might we still bear some consequences of our sins? Absolutely, just as these kids are not absolved from what they accomplished or did not accomplish the first one hundred fifty days of the school year. The great news for the Christian is this: while students have to endure six weeks to wipe the slate clean, we can receive a fresh start three hundred sixty-five days per year. The Father in heaven doesn't use Gradequick- He's just quick to forgive his children.
Applicable quote of the day:
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose for this thing we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down."
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:16 PM