High School Essay Grading

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That’s certainly part of the package, but in order for student writers to become stronger, they need solid feedback from the pro – that’s you!

In that process, though, we can’t overwork ourselves because it takes more time and effort to go that extra mile.

This essay-grading burden is unique to the high school English teacher (and that is not to say that no other teacher has stacks of papers to grade). I have presented at numerous conferences, workshops, and trainings on various best teaching practices.

However, most other subjects aren’t assigning 500 word essays as their unit’s culminating task multiple times a semester. Additionally, I have several articles published in national teaching journals.

The reality, though, is that teaching students to write well sets them up for a better future, and that is burden worth bearing. Outside of teaching, I love photography and design, and many images from my collection appear in and on my resources.

*** I have taught English and journalism for over a decade. I also teach Pre K-K in Children’s Church and have taught K-2 in Awanas. To me, my job is about teaching students to see, make, and appreciate real-world connections.Writing rubrics are guidelines that allow teachers and students to be on the same page when it comes to writing an essay.Rubrics give reference points as to what should be included in the essay to achieve the highest grade possible.Whichever method you choose, make sure your students have a good understanding of what you’re going to be grading for.Don’t rely on students consulting the syllabus or course website, even if the expectations are discussed extensively there.Prepare an answer key or grading guide in advance The key/guide is really worth the time and fuss—I had to learn this the hard way.If your course instructor provides you with a rubric, consider yourself lucky (even if you don’t agree with all the details).For assignments like drills, multiple choice, and true/false questions or short written responses, you might also want to consider providing your students with the key, have them mark each other’s work (or their own, if you’re opposed to students correcting each other) and submit the assignments back to you.Review drafts I know this sounds like twice the work, but trust me.As a TA, you’re generally going to be grading a lot of assignments per semester (or quarter).Grading, though a perpetually thorny issue, is important and it is a big part of teaching at the university level.


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