Friday, July 7, 2017

"grading" by John Reinhart

grading
pain in my fingers
correcting student papers
red, red, red
spilling blood
atonement for history

--John Reinhart


Poet’s Notes:  In response to a comment about the laborious nature of correcting papers, a student once asked, "Mr. Reinhart, then why do you assign so many?" Correcting papers is simultaneously challenging and, in later years, highly rewarding. By the time students are in 11th or 12th grade, papers become a conversation, the process almost musical in its call and response, improvisations on a theme. I've taken many approaches, from literally cutting then rearranging papers, to rewriting as poems, to a focused "go back and try to fix X." Until I find another way to inspire students to improve on their work, practice seems to be the primal ingredient, so the assignments will keep pace and I'll keep my colorful pens at the ready.


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