In September, the May 8th date for the Advanced Placement English Literature exam seemed distant. There was time for discussion and leisurely observations; the class was laid back and collegial. By mid-April, however, I turned into a real task master, and my students’ work was suffering my critical review. Their essay drafts were riddled with my large red comments:
- “Where is your thesis??”
- “Write faster!”
- “Mark up the original!
- “Never use ‘flow’…it means NOTHING!”
My students groaned when I dragged out one more poem or prose piece just before spring break. Friday afternoons were particularly trying when I demanded a full essay in 40 minutes.
The work paid off. Today, immediately after the exam, several students showed up in my office:
- “I felt so prepared.”
- “Those essays paid off!”
- “I wrote three pages for each essay!”
I resisted the urge to say…”told you so…”