Author Topic: To Grade or not to Grade?  (Read 727 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2014, 02:12:53 PM »
Grades really don't matter much in the long run. I hate grading and I think most teachers agree with me. That is the least interesting and rewarding part of our jobs.  We really might as well pass everyone and let the workplaces sort people out. Because that is what happens anyway.

Education has yet to catch up to the realities of the modern world. I wish we could educate the "whole person" and send them out into a world of fascinating opportunities. But that would raise a lot of kids' hopes that would just get crashed. Businesses just move right on while we in education try to play catch up with a zillion competing demands and goals.

I have a 50-something friend who is "reinventing" herself after a career with the military and as a corporate professional. She is starting over from scratch in the work world. And it is not pretty.

She has found out that: there are a lot of companies eager to hire her, they are paying higher than minimum wage, they offer benefits of a sort. So, the economy is looking up. That is the good news.

The bad news is that, as Anfauglir just stated, these  jobs are not the cool, creative, rewarding work that everyone thinks they will get after high school or college. Who is hiring older people at the entry level?  Warehouse work where the main qualification is the ability to lift 50 pounds and pass a drug test. Inventory jobs where you are on your feet for eight hours all night when the store is closed, entering merchandise counts into a computer. Call centers.

Those are the kinds of jobs available for the less social and less physically appealing older worker.  Of course, for those who look nicer and can handle face to face contact with the buying public, there is always retail sales.[1]

My friend, with 30 years of work experience,  is now dealing with this: a call center job with a company that rhymes with "horizon".  Where they hire 100 people every month and fire about half that many; the training is harder than most college classes; and the shifts are sometimes 12 hours long, sometimes starting at 4am, sometimes at 7 or 8am with hours changing weekly. You do not get to plan your life because you have no idea when they will need you. And, no, you do not get to choose your shift. You do get to choose to work extra hours, beyond the mandatory scheduled overtime.

People with small kids or other family responsibilities clearly need not apply. Why is the work so grueling? Because we in the US of A are now competing with folks at call centers in Bangladesh, India and Jamaica--people who also speak English, can pass the training program and will happily work 12 hour shifts for a quarter of the US minimum wage. That's why.

Graduate from school and welcome to the modern global sweatshop. BTW my friend got excellent grades in college and held a very high clearance in the military. Nobody who is hiring cares about all that. The advice I give to young people nowadays is this: if you don't have a clear career path in mind (like accounting, law, medicine, teaching, engineering, etc) figure out a way to start your own business. And they don't need high grades to do that, either.
 1. Starbucks does not hire old, fat, ugly people with bad social skills. But we still have to pay our bills! ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online Graybeard

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2014, 02:54:07 PM »
Grades really don't matter much in the long run.
It depends how far you run. (i) They are very useful for grading a school as a whole over the years (ii) deciding where money needs to go (iii) to find the kids who are not making it. (iv) to adjust the time spent and the teaching methods for those at all grades (v) to see if the school needs new management.
Quote
I hate grading and I think most teachers agree with me.
That's because nobody like giving people bad news: even if it is good for them. I had to grade employees: I didn't like it but I told them to see the assessment as a set of pointers to better grades. A few did do, and most did well.

The grades are a means of measuring. The result, with children is, "How much more than the average has this kid progressed? What added value have I given to the school and the child?"

You are right to say that exam success is not a guide to success in later life (there's a slight correlation but probably not significant) but that is not the point, otherwise you would be telling us that the only thing that schools should do is prepare kids for working life.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 03:04:48 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2014, 03:46:01 PM »
Yes, grading is good for looking at how the system is doing overall. I am not sure how useful it is on the individual level, though.

I agree with you that school should be more than prepare kids for work. Now, if only the state governments who fund us and the parents would agree!

(I even hate grading when the assignments are good...I like teaching, but do not like all the record-keeping and nitpicking we have to do.)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline median

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2014, 10:19:50 PM »
Yes, grading is good for looking at how the system is doing overall. I am not sure how useful it is on the individual level, though.

I agree with you that school should be more than prepare kids for work. Now, if only the state governments who fund us and the parents would agree!

(I even hate grading when the assignments are good...I like teaching, but do not like all the record-keeping and nitpicking we have to do.)

Me too! To be honest, just as of today I am now seriously reconsidering my career path of teaching. There are few jobs, too much competition, threat of lay off each year, long (extra) hours, not enough pay, and tons of politics/red tape. States are making it increasingly unattractive for new teachers. Idiots. In fact, just a couple of years ago the enrollment for credential programs dropped from 31,000 to 11,000 in California!

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?id=8914156
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2014, 03:17:32 PM »
To add to the litany of reasons for lots of folks to not go into teaching: proportion of kids in the population has peaked and will probably not go up again. Teaching will be steady state, not expanding. While there is a need for more preschool and elementary teachers now to take care of the last of the "baby boom echo" children, that will be it.  I suggest you get certified in special ed or bilingual ed to be more competitive. Learn ASL.

At the college level, this means that more US kids who meet the basic cutoff will get into the school of their choice, but to stay open colleges have to allow more international students in.

And we have to re-tool our courses to appeal to the older student, like returning vets, workers in need of retraining and immigrants needing either basic skills or re-certification in their previous profession. This is not the population most of us professors thought we would be teaching when we got our degrees. It's a far more diverse, interesting group, more focused and together in many ways. But they have very different needs than the traditional college age kids. :-\
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline median

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2014, 12:25:48 AM »
Yeah, I'm not quite sure exactly what I'm going to do yet, actually. Only time will tell. There have been a large portion of people telling me to go into special ed but that just doesn't appeal to me right now. Don't get me wrong, I've subbed for almost everything now and I love working with those students. They are actually really beautiful people for the most part. It's just that I really want to teach science, critical thinking, math, etc to students that will be needing it the most (here in-da-hood where I live). I may wind up sticking with K-8, or heading in a different direction altogether. There is still lots to think about here in Cali.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2014, 03:26:18 PM »
You may be in a good position if you want to teach math and science. The STEM fields are looking good for the foreseeable future. Those are the areas that politicians and the public are still willing to fund. Because jobs and competitiveness.

As far as I am concerned, a really cool, dedicated math or science teacher who wants to teach in an urban school is priceless. Although you will have to coach baseball or soccer on the side, and do fundraising activities to raise money for lab equipment as well. Wanna buy some cookie dough or wrapping paper?  :-*

I would only advise you to make yourself more marketable with a certification in special ed or bilingual ed if you really wanted to teach social sciences or, Thor forbid,  humanities.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline median

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Re: To Grade or not to Grade?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2014, 10:38:33 AM »
You may be in a good position if you want to teach math and science. The STEM fields are looking good for the foreseeable future. Those are the areas that politicians and the public are still willing to fund. Because jobs and competitiveness.

As far as I am concerned, a really cool, dedicated math or science teacher who wants to teach in an urban school is priceless. Although you will have to coach baseball or soccer on the side, and do fundraising activities to raise money for lab equipment as well. Wanna buy some cookie dough or wrapping paper?  :-*

I would only advise you to make yourself more marketable with a certification in special ed or bilingual ed if you really wanted to teach social sciences or, Thor forbid,  humanities.


I actually want to get my cert in bilingual (spanish) and teach here in socal (urban area). So, I think I'm good! Yes, I'm going to turn all of those awesome Mexican-American kids into smart little scientific critical thinking naturalist atheists who play soccer and eat cookies like me.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan