Galileo Teachers Take On Student Essays

Every school year Galileo English teachers, spend time reading and grading the IWA (Integrated Writing Assessment), a SFUSD mandated assignment all 9th and 10th graders take. However, the Galileo administration decided that this year all Galileo teachers, regardless of subject area, should read and score the assessments in an attempt to strengthen staff unity.

The event was spearheaded by Galileo assistant principal, Ms. Rocha along with help from English department head Ms. Moffett. Although it was a lot of work for her, Ms. Rocha believes it was worthwhile. She said, “Everything went very well and as expected. By having all the teachers participate, it brought everyone together and strengthened our community. ”

Teachers went through a 2 day process in order to score students papers. On the first day, teachers spent time looking at examples of students work as well as a rubric to help them get adjusted to what the essays would look like. Then on the second day, teachers gathered together in the cafeteria and scored as many 9th and 10th grade essays as they could. Ms. Rocha said, “all of our teachers came together and we looked over a rubric to grade the essays. We then looked at examples of essays each graded differently to see what each grade looks like.”

Most teachers had a positive experience with the grading. Mr. Welch,  an AVID teacher, states, “It was a good experience getting to grade papers with teachers who teach other subjects. But it was hard to calibrate grading so that we all graded the essays equally. From the grading aspect of it i think it went very smoothly.”

Along with Mr. Welch, Geometry teacher, Ms. Su, had a positive outlook on it too. She says “They’re putting a lot of faith in the math teachers. The process was interesting, it made me have a lot of respect for the English department and after reading some of the students responses I was impressed by them too.”

Physics teacher, Mr. Barrios mentions, “Overall it was easier than I thought it would be. It was interesting to use the rubric and it made me feel more comfortable grading writing. It was nice being exposed to a really well made rubric.”

While most reviews were positive, an anonymous teacher states, “I don’t understand why they had teachers from other subjects grade English. I think that the English teachers who are qualified to grade English should be in charge of grading the papers.”

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