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Teacher's Assessment of Writing in English

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Length: 1745 words (5 double-spaced pages)
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Price: $29.95
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The most difficult aspect of being an English teacher, for me, is assessing my students’ writing. I can remember, so clearly, the day my cooperating teacher handed me a student’s writing and said, “Read this and give it a grade.” After reading it, I felt an overwhelming and uncomfortable power shadow over me. I didn’t know the rules of assessment. What was I supposed to be looking for anyway? I was able to realize immediately that there is a definite difference between knowing how to write an essay and knowing how to assess one.

When I was asked what I finally came up with as a grade, I told her the student earned a “B.” She agreed and I remember thinking to myself that maybe my task wasn’t as difficult as I had thought moments before. Then, just when I thought the hard part was over, she asked me why I gave it a “B.” After giving her my reasons, she stated she was in agreement with me. At this point, I asked her what grade she had given it. She replied, “B-.” Now I was completely baffled. How could she agree with everything that I said and then give it a different grade?


... middle of paper ... Berlin once said, “To teach writing is to teach a version of reality.” The importance of communication and success in our world is, indeed, a reality. Isn’t the assessment of writing, after all, a version of reality as well? Aren’t we supposed to be preparing our students for their futures? Although assessing writing is not a simple task, it should not be viewed as unfair or unnecessary. Instead, we must consider it unfair and unjust to hide this reality from the students who will continually encounter it once they exit our classroom doors.

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