How Do You Grade a Process?

It is  Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers and I’m joining in the writing fun.  Take a peek at the wonderful community of writers.

slice-of-life_individual

How Do You Grade a Process?

“The hardest part is the grading because truthfully.. How do you grade a process?”

Those were the words I heard from a friend who teaches a college level course on playing classical jazz guitar.  He was sharing the challenges of meeting college requirements for grading when he spoke.  As soon as he uttered the phrase I thought back to an uncomfortable conversation I had just had with a colleague.  She was sharing with me that grades HAD to be given on the first piece of writing because she needed to add something to the grade book. I was seeking to understand and not getting very far in the conversation and decided to mull it over for the weekend.  That’s when these words hit me. The phrase kept swirling over and over in my mind:

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

As the words circled in my brain more questions came to the surface.  What makes writing a process in one grade while in the next grade it becomes a paper with a numerical score? What does that score say to the student who is still learning to write, and still valuing the process of learning how to improve his/her writing?  What does that number mean to the parent receiving that score? Does putting a number on a paper mean that a writer has arrived and writing is no longer a process for him/her? Does grading stop the learning?

Aren’t we all writers in process?  I don’t think I would continue writing this blog if  I knew someone would be grading me each week.  So what is this teacher of writing to do?  How do I reconcile the fact that grades are required with my true belief that writing is a process, much like learning to play classical jazz on a guitar.

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

How do you grade a process?

No answers today but maybe a stronger conviction to keep on supporting our youngest all writers as they we continue to grow through the our process of writing.

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