Problems of grading children (or grownups, for that matter)

Problems of grading children (or grownups, for that matter)

Renee EllisonAug 19, '20

How does God judge in the end?—taking into account original IQ differences, sweat factor, family upbringing, physical and mental handicaps, motivation, parameters of unique personality, circumstances, and the moral unshakable law of God. Consider have King David, neck deep in sin yet called a man after God’s own heart because he refused self-delusion when finally confronted (almost none of us are capable of this, even when confronted) and came to the right and only table for help, etc. Whew.

During my many years as a teacher in public and private schools, I used to have such a hard time giving out grades. They were a nightmare for me. Keeping a grade book was a tyranny. I literally had sleepless hours at night about what was and wasn’t in my grade book, and why. And when it was all in there, mechanically recorded, I later sometimes fudged—wanting to motivate rather than to clobber a student.

How do you grade a tulip? I could have given out grades the first day of school as the children walked through the classroom door (“that is an A student, that one an F student”)—just by the way they walked and carried themselves. It was a foul arrangement from the get-go. How do you grade a five-year-old who can’t even find the front door of the new building, because his one room shack/home was quite a bit smaller? We can rue the day grades were invented. It turned school systems into labeling agencies and industrialized institutions of straight-jacketing, where nobody fit. “To grow” is the only thing that matters, and sometimes even that is impossible, for a child in the grip of autism or an older person in Alzheimer’s, for example. A job for God, to be sure.

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