Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, and today we have a return guest, my husband, Bill Rice. He was first on the podcast back on episode 39, so not too long ago, where we talked about his perspective as principal and husband to a sustainable teacher - so if you haven’t yet, you’ll want to go back and give that a listen.
In this episode, though, we are focusing in on a particular subject, and that is grading. Specifically, the meaning of grades and how a teacher could be more aware and intentional around what it means when they give a student a specific grade.
This is not a light conversation, and there are certainly fourteen other conversations (or podcast episodes) we could have from this one interview.. And maybe some day we’ll go there, but today we’re focusing on the work Bill has recently done in his research on the meaning of grades, and what it’s been to just scratch the surface on this issue.
I’m betting you’ve had a student come to you at the end of the semester or grading period to ask if there’s anything they can do to improve their grade, and your answer is, yes, you could’ve cared and done your work months ago - but caring now is too little too late.
Or maybe you’ve had a student come to you about how they were only one or two points away from an A on the test, after you had already slightly rounded up their score, and now they were asking you to round it up more.
I’m betting you’ve had any number of experiences like these whose true, underlying meaning is that the student cares more about the grade they receive in your class than they do the learning experience.
This is not a one-classroom, one-school, or one-region issue. This is a systemic, culture-wide issue inside of education that I will say, I’ve seen some improvements in over my years in the classroom, but I’m not sure will ever truly go...