Today I had the honor of being able to help my supervisor correct a portion of the English test. Yes, Amanda was grading. It isn’t hard to do. You have the answers and you check to be sure they match up with the what the student wrote as an answer. Easy.
In the states when correcting work the only marks a student will get is on what had been incorrect. So students look at marks as a bad thing because the more marks, the more you got wrong. In Japan that isn’t always the case. Teachers mark what is correct and what is wrong in a red pen or marker.
Can you image getting a test back that is covered in red? Any American student would think that they had failed instantly. If a question was answered correctly the answer is circled. If you got it wrong a line is put through it. Still everything is marked, right or wrong.
Even though I was only correcting a small portion of the English test (Listening), I was a little taken back by the way I was shown to mark. Red. Deep, WRONG, RED. Pages covered in it. Still I marked the answers with the proper markings.
What really got to me while I was correcting was that I saw myself in some of the tests. I became sympathetic with the tests that had a lot of incorrect marks. I have never been a good student when it comes to studying or taking tests. College was no different. When I would get papers or test back it was always covered in marks. It was never exciting to my work back. So, to see that students are struggling a little it made me want to do the best I can for them.
I will work hard just to make school fun. I know that isn’t what many think teaching should be. They way I see it is when a student has no interest in what is going on they wont learn anything. I can speak for myself and hopefully others when I say that learning should be fun and exciting. I believe this with all my heart.