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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

 

again

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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