I finished writing mid-term comments last night at about 2:11 am. Despite finishing so late, they weren’t quite as difficult as I expected them to be. Start to finish, they occupied about eight hours of time start to finish, with a couple of twenty minute breaks in the middle. Call it seven hours.
What made the difference? Why were these comments so much less odious than any other set of end-of-term comments that I’ve written?
Well, for one thing, it was easy to shut myself in at home, and just sit down and write. I had folders of student homework already graded close at hand, so there was a pile of student handwriting, writing skills, and typical work close at hand. I’ve kept a better grade book than I ever have before, so there was a mountain of data and trends to work with.
I found myself wishing — desperately — that I’d had some Statistics in my math classes, and had some idea of how to squeeze more information out of my data points. But for all of that, I did great. And now I have a much better sense of how to do this work for this school, more effectively.