Saturday, December 27, 2014

Turn it In!

The amazing thing about school break is that the pressure is lessened.  I'm still getting up at the same time, and pretty much going to bed at the same time, as if I were on my school schedule.  But it's a whole lot easier to grade essays and then say "WALK AWAY" when you've read a word like "EXCAPE" in an allegedly-proofread research paper.  My only goal is to have all of the papers read and commented upon prior to January 5th -- so I'm pacing myself.  

Which is probably a good thing, because there are some essays that make me want to scream "HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING?"  It's a small dose sort of thing.  When the screaming in my head begins, I wander away and do something else.  Today's therapy included working on an Amish Block of the Month that has gone untouched since September, and some hardcore antiquing -- with no purchases!

Some of the essays are spectacular.  Today I learned a great deal about Constraint Induced Movement, through one exceptional paper, which was fascinating!  (Go ahead, google it.)  Regardless of the content, I'm pleased that students are hitting deadlines, and not stressing.  Because when we get back to school on the 5th, we'll be heading towards the end of semester, and final exams.

Turn it IN!

Our principal encouraged us to use a new program last year -- Turn it In.  The program is pretty amazing, although I'm not sure that students are considering the full benefits of the information it can provide to them.  (In addition to instantly scanning the internet for similar content and giving a "similarity index" to combat plagiarism, it also offers grammar check and spell check.  I'm fairly certain the last two have been overlooked by students.  At least I HOPE so!)

Being able to accept papers electronically, comment, and grade them makes for a lighter backpack, the demise of fewer trees, and boxes of toner.  It also introduces the students to online grading and feedback similar to what many colleges will require in a few short years.

Yes, the pacing of my life is quite fine right now.  I'm nibbling on cookies and candies provided by students as Christmas gifts, and will indulge in the bubble bath offerings as well.  It truly is a vacation of balance and breathing, and it's coming along quite well, thank you!

May you find the balance as well!