I ventured to grade 150 personal narratives that were all 3 pages in length. Do the math. That is a lot of behind the scenes time for one assignment. By the time I got through 1st period I realized that this grading venture would be different.
The assignment was to write a personal narrative explaining a lesson learned or a way you changed through an event in your life.
This week I was the student and not the teacher.
The hours I have spent grading these papers have left me with admiration, respect, and questions for my students.
From this assignment I have learned the following:
- Navajo families roll their newborn babies in snow during the first winter storm. The act will devleop bravery and courage in the young baby that will last a lifetime.
- The death of a young baseball player in Winslow has affected all of his classmates. They have matured greatly and have not forgotten him one bit. The accident happened almost a year ago, and his close friends in my classes still write about how it affects them.
- Divorce has to be one of the most ugly things a child can go through. Hearing the point of view from a child has been tear jerking and downright difficult.
- Sheep herding in the Navajo tradition is a meaningful way to learn respect for elders and experience the true meaning of hard work.
- Sports are a sure-fire way for young people to find themselves.
- The birth of a sibling has surely affected my students. Some said it was positive and others have admitted to having a hard time adjusting.
- Adoption has saved the life of one of my students. I literally cried when I read this paper.
- Foster care has rescued several of my student swho went through physical abuse from parents, death of parents, and abadonment.
- Jail time has taught several of my students a permanent lesson about breaking rules. I admit it caught me off guard to read about drug, robbery, and alcohol abuse coming from the mouths of a few 14-year olds.