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June 2, 2012 / austreberto

my first time handing back graded papers to students

my first time handing back graded papers to students


wasn’t long before that i was in their shoes


i know all too well the anxiety of waiting for a grade

alphabetical order or reverse

i was always in the middle

most of the time i was disappointed


but now i was on the other side

and to be honest

i was a lot more nervous


my hands shook

but luckily they didn’t notice


they were too involved with each other

or focused in on their grades and the little marks i left on their papers

occasionally one of them would smile at my comments


this calmed my nerves a bit

until i got to him


he was a solid four inches taller than me

and at least twice my size

(which isn’t hard to achieve given my stature)


he could probably take me

if he tried


was one of the defensive lines on the football team



he could probably take me

but i never told him that


his desk was empty most days

always asked for a pencil

broke it

then asked for another the next day

(i stopped giving handouts after the second week of this)


never brought anything to class


used my room as a secondary locker

left his planner and books behind all the time


there wasn’t much for me to hand back

his paper was short

barely made my requirements

was one giant paragraph


wrote about football

it was actually pretty entertaining

had potential

so did he

a lot

if he tried


but he never did

wanted to be told the answers right away


always said

i don’t get it

even before reading the instructions


still surprised that i only kicked him out of my room once


he shut down a lot

even more after he saw his grade

i gotta C

he shrugged

threw the paper away when he left the room


it was his first year in high school

my first time teaching on my own


a learning experience for both of us

but i’m willing to best that i learned a lot more than he did

and i feel bad about that


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