What is a Grade, Anyway?

One of the tedious tasks of being a teacher is to solve the students’ grades. Basking in the eye strain causing lines of the class record (yeah, I don’t use MS Excel. I’m old school) and computing all the components that make up the class standing and the exam scores are no laughing matters. In my case, I have eight loads which means I have to solve the grades of the eight sections I am assigned to teach. Apparently, I just finished solving the prelim grades of the two sections.

Every term, the admin sets the deadline for encoding the grades, but thankfully, the MIS broke down so I need not hurry. But since my students are already “demanding”the “numbers” due to them, I have no choice but to perform my responsibility as a teacher, that is, solving grades. Also, I am fully aware just how much grades matter to students. And I could not just assert my ideals, as I remember my mentor’s words regarding grades. “In a spiritual world, what is a grade anyway?”

So, I wasn’t so surprised of my students’ reaction when they knew their grades in Philippine Literature. Cliche as it may sound, and I hope that they are aware of this: students are the ones who make their grades. I just solve it. And I give what is due to them. Yes, I give grades as high as 95.

Students may wonder why I give this kind of grade. I think, one greatest factor that influenced me is the fact that I am teaching a subject that deals with subjectivity, which gives emphasis on human feelings and ideas. My students are capable of doing both: to feel and to think. That’s what literature does. Most importantly, literature nourishes our soul and makes us realize that there are other noble desires aside from aspiring higher grades.

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