On grades and anxiety

I’m grateful to Chuck and Alex for their encouraging comments about my plan to make my grade distributions public, and it still seems like a good idea to me.

However–and maybe this is just me–it is slightly anxiety-provoking.  Last night, for instance, not long after writing the post, I went to sleep, and dreamed that the provost read the post, and ominously called me in for a meeting to discuss it.

I do think there’s a shame that can attach to grading, at least in the humanities.  “My, that’s a lot of A-s . . . ” or “You really thought she was a B writer?” or “What was wrong with you that semester?  So many Cs . . . ”   And then I get defensive. But that’s part of the reason for pursuing this–to try to open up that shame to sunlight.

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