I've talked about my frustration with grading essays. They take a long time, I struggle with how much to put, and they are generally a pain when they aren't that good. Are they supposed to be? Not necessarily. They are learning. I get that. It doesn't make them any more enjoyable to read for all of my limited free time at night/during the day.
They got done and passed back. One kid came to me and asked for more detail. "Go away," I thought to myself and no doubt displayed on my face. Is this kid serious? He got the check marks, he received an A because it actually wasn't so bad and according to the rubric, he earned his 90. Why is he bothering me?
The kid said he wanted more detail because he didn't understand why he didn't get 100. Instead of blowing him off and saying "because nobody is perfect," I took my general grumpiness to the paper with a marker and gave him the feedback he wanted. More than that, I gave him the feedback he deserved. He eagerly took it and asked if I'd be open to reading a revision.
OF COURSE! His effort disarmed me. Yes, he's making more work for me, but he's improving himself which makes me proud. What makes me even more excited is that he had a goal, advocated for himself, and is now putting in the work to achieve that goal. Good for you annoying but driven child. Don't stop being you. I'm annoyed because of me not because of you. You're doing everything right. I was getting angry at positive behavior because of adult selfishness.