10 Real Things I Wrote While Grading

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been grading fictional short stories for the last twelve hundred years. Why? Because I told my students there was no page limit for the assignment. I’ll pause while you laugh at me and point and shout, “ROOKIE MISTAKE!” jeeringly.
Thank you. I needed that.
Now that that’s done, I actually did enjoy grading them. Their stories were awesome and they actually read their rubrics, which figuratively speaking made my heart explode with never-ending confetti. I also enjoyed grading them because I began to realize that some of my feedback would sound very, very strange if taken out of context. 
So I decided to publish it on the Internet.  
Here are 10 real things I wrote while grading:
I mean, don’t we all?
Super stinky scarf, or superhuman senses? This is important.
If you’ve had the popcorn in Chicago you will understand that this is a valid question.
Or a governor-appointed granny?
(Note: It was in the linen closet.)
Can’t believe I fell for the old bait-and-switch!
When only the last paragraph of a paper is messy, you may as well make a note to your teacher that says, “Rushed to finish writing this on the bus, xoxo”
This would be a strange thing to shout in a movie theater.
Or anywhere.
This story was AWESOME and I am still thinking about it.
And finally, the comment that gave me the idea for this post:
I already can’t wait to grade next year’s short stories.


  1. Anonymous

    You must be a SpringBoard teacher, just like me. Those narratives were torture to grade. I made the same mistake you did. I had some kids turn in 30 page stories. I gave up after awhile and just skimmed. Thank goodness I had them highlight the parts of the hero's journey that they included or I would have never finished them.

  2. Angela Auricht

    After reading a romance narrative that all of my class had to write, I wrote to a student…..I'm pretty sure that a well dressed young woman wouldn't say….'May I sit here? Some wanker is in my seat.'

  3. Traci

    Love!!! Yes, I'm a H.S. English Teacher of 20+ years, and I still make the rookie mistake at times regarding length. But, hey, who are we to stunt a student's imagination and enthusiasm for writing? Thanks for sharing.

  4. Deb Hanson

    Love these! I can so connect to the popcorn in Chicago statement- I was introduced to it this summer when I went to Chicago and a friend told me I had to stop by Garrett Popcorn. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 🙂

  5. Shawnalisa Reed

    I am currently in my last semester of classes before student teaching next semester. I love the idea of writing down things students say, write, or do that is funny. I have never thought about writing down the comments that we, as teachers, may write back to them. I hope to write down information like this when I am a teacher, so that when I am not having my best day I can go back and look at these. I believe that this will help remind me why I wanted to become a teacher. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

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