Let me share a little secret with you….. I hate grading! The moment I sit down and truly start the process of grading a set of papers, projects, tests, or assignments, I immediately wonder why I even assigned it. You take a 5 paragraph essay, on the causes of the Civil War and multiply it by 145 students and you have no choice but to consider yourself a glutton for punishment.
Here is the problem, grading is a major part of teaching and I want to be a good teacher. In fact, I have said before that I want my students to look back and consider me one of their top 5 teachers. This desire puts me in a semi-conundrum. On one hand, I want to be a great teacher but on the other hand, I despise a required part of the job. The solution I have identified…. do what I don’t enjoy and grade some damn papers.
It doesn’t bring me pleasure staying late after school, lugging home papers, or grading during my lunch. But I have too. I have to force myself to sit down and get it done because good teachers give timely feedback and grades to their students. It would be nice if I could ignore this part of the job and only work with students, create lessons, and discuss history. However, my desire to be a great teacher requires me to embrace every aspect that comes with the position including the ones I don’t enjoy.
The same approach can be applied to anything we want to be good or great at. No matter what it is, there are more than likely going to be responsibilities or aspects that we will not want to do. Want to be a good parent? You’re probably going to have to do something you don’t want too.
Case and point, my mother. I’m sure she didn’t always want to drive us from practice to practice or work a second job to make sure we had enough. But she did!!! She did those things because she wanted to be a great mother. Mission accomplished!
If I wanna be a great friend, coach, brother, leader, and maybe one day a husband, then I’m pretty positive there will be parts of the job that I might dislike or dare I say despise. But, if I want to excel in that position, there is no other choice except to sit down and “grade some damn papers.”