Deadlines And Commitments.

It's that time of year already....

It’s that time of year already….

This year, due to the way that the calendar works out, the First Report Card is pretty early. We are just entering Week Four, and the Five Week Progress Report is due, signed, sealed and delivered, on Friday.

As a result, much like the protagonist above, I am buried in a mountain of paperwork. I’ve done various versions of this composition for Adequacy, because quite frankly, it happens at least once per year. In this instance, it is particularly challenging, because at the beginning of the school year, no students have yet “dropped off” in the completion of their assignments. More or less, you have at least two hundred of whatever work you gave to grade and enter…and at one grade per week, minimum, that means at least six hundred assignments.

Arguably, you want more than that, although that seems counter intuitive. With so few possible assignments, they are all greatly magnified in their influence, no matter what…so the grades fluctuate wildly in the early stages of class, before statistical inertia takes a kind of effect. Imagine it this way…you class has a total of five assignments…you got a perfect score on four of them, but missed one entirely. Your grade is now a B-, despite all of the perfect, excellent work you turned in…just because of the small number of assignments. In another three weeks, that assignment will have half the effect, because the number in the system will be doubled, but right now…it’s a HUGE deal.

So…if you want to be fair to the students, you have to provide multiple ways to earn credit, amounting to more assignments, amounting to a giant stack of paperwork.

Let’s be clear about this…a giant stack that needs to be cleared out and done by the stroke of midnight on Thursday, for the official paperwork to be signed and turned in at Eight AM Friday morning.

Although not the most glamorous or even interesting part of being a teacher…it is arguably the most important, and the reason that we are there. Measuring student understanding, and in fact rating it for their own growth, and for further educational opportunity…it’s pretty much the central point, and one that often seems to get lost in the shuffle.

That being said, our hero is never too happy when she has such a massive stack of paperwork. Neither am I, for that matter, but we both know that it needs to be done.

I haven’t settled on a costuming choice for this year…I just know that she won’t be wearing the armored uniform of an Edu-Knight, because I’m still sore about an adult issue from months and months ago. However, he she is wearing a uniform design that debuted in DC Comics L.E.G.I.O.N.’89, which has never seen any significant reprinting. The characters in L.E.G.I.O.N. were a sort of space “rent a cop” agency that would provide security and law enforcement for your planet…for a fee of course. A very eighties kind of book.

I liked it, and it was clever. With DC making mouth noises about possibly restarting the parent book for that, the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes, it seemed to me that I wanted to “get back to roots” in some way, for both me an the protagonist.

In the late eighties, when that jacket was cool, it still seemed reasonable to have great adventures in the Legion Cruiser. Now…as the song says, there are deadlines and commitments, and sometimes you are just running against the wind.

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