Responding to student writing

I’ve been struggling to read 50 of my students’ piece of writing today. I love working with their writing, but the sheer volume (and the ridiculously short turnaround window that I created for myself) has been getting me down.

Then I read a piece that challenged me–not because it’s terrible but because the writer is expressing real pain/confusion/sadness in the piece, coupled with a sense of determination to move past those emotions. The absences speak as loudly as what’s on the page. It’s not a cry for help–it’s more of a acknowledgment of a self-inflicted burden. I’m a bit of loss at the moment as to how to respond. But that’s a good thing–it’s made me come off of automatic marking mode and really think about what kinds of comments to make to the student. It’s reminded me why this is the best job I’ve ever had: because it’s the hardest.

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One thought on “Responding to student writing

  1. yinzer

    ETA that this student eventually had to drop the course, as he missed too many classes. It’s a shame, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll pass comp when he takes it again.

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