Gone Marking: Grunt Work Is Forever

There’s no way around it for the high-school teacher in touch with his pupils’ needs and responsive to their work: rolling up the sleeves is a part of a teacher’s life. I am going through an exercise from my Theory of Knowledge students on William James and will have an essay coming in from them Tuesday. Also on Tuesday: essays from the English students. We have a five-day holiday weekend next week, but it will be a working holiday, including a trip with some students. The good news is that some of my Grade 11 students are showing a remarkable keenness and affinity for ToK, a thing I do not usually see so early in this demanding course. The bad news is that I’m not finished yet, so I will not be writing my usual posting.

Oscar Wilde said that “work is the curse of the drinking classes.” I can testify that it is the curse of the teaching classes too.  I worked in private industry for a number of years before starting to teach, and I can report that at almost no time in “the other place” did I work as hard as I do teaching, even after having learned how to work smart rather than hard at some teaching tasks.

Fortunately, some of the grunt work is also aha work–the aha one says as the nickel drops, the face lights up, or the page coruscates.

Leave a Reply