"How many points will I get off?"

"How many points will I get off?"

Ugh. I hate that question. I hate that question so much. And yet, I hear it almost every single day from my students.

I hate that question on multiple levels.

First of all, just do your best. Be proud of your work of the work your produce, or it's really not worth producing at all. Just do your best, whatever your best is. Not your neighbor's. Not your brother's. Yours.

Also, if you stopped worrying so much about the points you were going to get off, you wouldn't be so stressed out all the time. And that stress wouldn't then be transferred to me. Stop putting unnecessary angst in my classroom. It's bad joojoo, and no one likes it.

Not to mention, I DON'T KNOW. I don't nickel and dime you for points. You don't want me to, either. I need to see your work in the context of the whole thing. I can't say that one misspelled word is going to be 1/12th of a point off. I don't have time for that. Ain't nobody got time for that.

And at the end of it all, it's not about the points. I don't teach for the points, and you shouldn't work and learn for the points. If the whole world only did things for the points (or money or fame or whatever), we'd have a pretty crappy world. It'd be only some of the effort, which would only get us some of the awesome. Let's be world changers and give the world all that we have. Not just enough to only get some of the points.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect you to get 100%. In fact, I don't want you to. I want you to have healthy boundaries and to learn to not let perfect be the enemy of the good. I want you get a 96% in my class. That means that you're working hard, and yet you're still having fun and investing in people, and you're probably way less stressed out. Sometimes it's okay not to give it your all, to sacrifice it for something more important. Your family is more important than my class. People in general are more important than my class. But my class is important too. I'm teaching you to read and write and think because you need to be able to do at least one of those things every day for the rest of your life.

So oh my goodness, stop asking me how many points you're going to get off. I don't know, and frankly I don't care. Just do your best in the time that I've given you. In this case, it's a 10-minute free write. I just want to see you use your grammar rules used well and read interesting things that you have to say. So please, stop worrying about the points.