Just before February break, I was sick with the flu. As a result, I didn’t take home a great big stack of about thirty student papers, many of them 10-12 pages long (their stories about presidents, in fact). They were sitting on my desk for a day or two until I was able to return to school, pick them up, and grade them at home…. and while at someone else’s house, and at someone else’s….
Today, as I went to hand them back, three of the papers were missing. This disheartens me a great deal. Somewhere in the last week, I put a student paper down in a place it wasn’t supposed to be — outside of the main stack, not in the “unread” pile or “graded” pile — and the result was that I’m now shame-faced about student work gone missing over a vacation.
As humans, we teachers are not perfect. But it pays to develop systems to track and keep student work organized, and woe to us when those systems fail.
What’s your system?