The Fat Lady Singing

Beethoven makes wonderful music for grading portfolios. The Berlin Symphony Orchestra’s rousing rendition of his 5th symphony, now playing on iTunes radio, provided the perfect balance of light and heat to enable me to salvage something praise-worthy in an otherwise lackluster (by comparison to those most recently read, though splendid in comparison to this specific student’s previous work) Legacy. Though extremely slow-going, the grading of portfolios is perhaps my favorite part of the semester. Students prove to themselves in the process of writing an introductory letter (their Legacy) to incoming students, what and how they’ve mastered course objectives during the semester. We lose more than a few along the way yet retain enough to forgive the casualties if such a thing is required or possible. Everyone can learn – perhaps not on my watch – but I have it on good authority that I am a teacher who cares enough to support learners to achieve the high standards transformative learning requires.

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