Slow grades irk students


Akira Copeland

Math teacher Joseph Lenzo enters grades into Echo on Nov. 28. Lenzo uses his prep periods and advisory time to help students with their work and to get organized for his next classes.

Sierra Williams , Staff Reporter

“When are you going to update our grades?”

It is a question most teachers dread and typically brings an onslaught of students complaining about the grading process and how long it takes to enter scores into Echo. It’s understandable that students would want feedback as soon as possible, but is it reasonable for students to believe teachers can thoroughly grade hundreds of assignments in such a short amount of time?

“I teach seven periods total, including advisory, AP Stats and Algebra two,” said Joseph Lenzo a second-year math teacher. He has one period a day to use for preparation.

“I use the prep periods for getting organized for the next classes,” he said. “If I am really behind I will use it for grading, but very rarely.”

Just as many students have extracurricular activities outside of school, so do teachers. Twelfth grade Humanities teacher Stephanie Cristol boxes in her spare time, but rather than letting it take a negative effect on her grading, she said the sport has helped in a positive way.

“Boxing training has made me a more efficient grader … it has helped me learn to pace my energy, work in short intervals, and set measurable goals for myself,” Cristol said.

It’s expected that Humanities teachers might take more time to grade. Assignments like essays and student writing take longer if teachers are trying to give feedback. Unlike math, where most answers are concrete, student writing can be subjective.

“I would say I spend around four hours a week grading test,” said Lenzo.

Before the start of the school year, teachers committed to having assignments graded and in Echo within two weeks. Cristol said it takes her about 30 hours outside of school to grade and give feedback on all of the student writing. On average, teachers who teach core classes have more than 150 students. The numbers for electives teachers is slightly lower, depending on the subject.

This comparison brings up an interesting question: would students rather have a teacher thoroughly grade assignments and take longer to hand them back or take a shorter amount of time to return grade, but with less feedback?

“I would rather have a teacher who grades as soon as possible because I need to know my grade,” said junior Alex Cabebe. “When teachers take forever to grade it makes me really angry. I need to know if I did good or bad on the test so that I know what I need to fix and can begin preparing for the retake.”

Other students prefer for teachers to take their time.

“I like it when teachers grade my work with as much detail as possible, especially in classes like Humanities,” said Alejandro Chavez, a senior. “When it is more thorough and explained, I understand what I need to improve on and how to make my next draft or retake better.”

Cristol said she can grade multiple choice test in class and have it in the grade book, but Lenzo saves his grading until their weekends, specifically Sunday mornings.

“I grade daily participation and that will always go into Echo at the end of the week,” he said. “My TA grades homework mainly on completion, then I spend around four hours every Sunday morning grading assessments.”

It’s understandable students would want feedback as soon as possible; they can’t get better if you don’t know how. But students can offer a little patience to teachers, who may feel overwhelmed by the stress of grading hundreds of assignments.