Teachers Need to Grade In a More Timely Manner


Kiera Roux (she/her)

Teachers Need to Grade in a More Timely Manner

As summer approaches, and we all look to the new school year, I finally have the courage to say what no one else will. After 8 months of silence, I have decided today to just rip the bandaid off and do everyone a favor. Teachers need to start grading assignments more quickly.

I preface this by saying that of course teachers have lives of their own, and I understand that many have struggled with adjusting to in-person teaching. I am not talking about teachers that put grades into Canvas after 2 weeks or have a valid reason to delay grading. I have noticed that oftentimes I am waiting for tests or essays to be graded after 4 or 6 weeks of patient waiting. This is the problem I am addressing.

Students are understanding. Young people are natural empaths. However, at some point late grading crosses an unacceptable threshold that is actively harmful to students.

This phenomenon is made even worse when teachers get frustrated when students ask about assessments. Students will often be made to look bad or get punished because of their curiosity.

This leaves students fearful of teachers, and hurts student-teacher communication. Students are no longer able to communicate effectively with their teachers, partly because of the unequal power dynamics between teachers and students, and in part because students worry that speaking out will put their grades in jeopardy.

Late grading puts everyone in an uncomfortable position. Due to the high academic pressure present at Campo, students have high anxiety about testing and grades. Continued delay in grading just amplifies students’ mental health problems. Students suffer tremendously, and are kept on edge constantly about assignments completed weeks before.

Teachers are hurt too; procrastination is harmful, even for adults. Bad relations with students makes a teacher’s job much harder, as they are unable to understand how students are feeling or whether their teaching is effective.

Students must have real time feedback in regards to grades, in order to access which classes they need to focus on more. Delayed grading makes students unable to see how they are doing, leaving them hopeless to improve in time for the end of the semester.

What if the roles were reversed? What if students waited for a month or 2 to take a test. This would be unacceptable to teachers, and many teachers will take away truncation or curving if they miss a test, even when students are sick. Teachers will also email parents and counselors to coerce students to take tests they aren’t ready for.

All in all, students are put between a rock and a hard place with school. They are unable to speak out in fear of retaliation, and are left in despair and in the dark. Systemic change must be made to ensure that grading happens in a timely manner.