If you’re joining us for the first time this week, on Monday and Tuesday we were exploring the statement “Whatever it takes–that’s the job of the teacher.”

Let’s turn to the topic every English teacher loves to hate: grading. Years ago a friend of mine said, “I teach for free; grading is what I get paid for.” That’s how I try to see it. Now doing “whatever it takes” when it comes to grading is really a matter of deadlines. That’s the only time I am ever going to say that I need to do “whatever it takes.” 

In that spirit, let’s run a scenario:

It’s the day before grades are due. You have what looks like eight hours of stacks and stacks to go through. Given everything else that you have going on, you just don’t see enough time in the day. Any way you slice it, you’re going to have to lose sleep. What do you do?

For me, I see that there are two options before you:

1. You power through the stacks of papers and stay up until the job is done.

2. You do what you can, but you go to bed very early and get up at 2 am with a fresh jolt to get through whatever is left.

For me, I choose option 2. I just can’t function after a certain time of night. And I do much better right after I wake up and there is nothing on my mind.

Which option would you choose and why?

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