Ivan Carrino – The Monday Newspaper (ARG) –
I have been teaching as a professor at several universities for the last nine years. I started out as a teaching assistant for a class in Production Management. If memory serves me well, that was in 2007. I liked the subject, and the professors were enthusiastic, so when the opportunity to teach came my way, I grabbed it.
It was a great experience that lasted about four years. Eight semesters, eight different subjects. Then I began to focus more and more on economics. I took courses, travelled, and completed my first Master’s degree. Today, I teach Economics at Belgrano University, International Economics at the School of Economics and Business Administration (ESEADE) and also History of Economic Thought I and II at the University of Buenos Aires. This year, I had my first experience teaching middle school students—a nine-class course at the Asuncion de la Virgen school in Olivos, Buenos Aires province.
In the years that I have been a teacher I’ve graded a lot of students. But that’s not the right way to look at it, because teachers aren’t really giving the grades; it’s the students themselves who earn them. It is the student who, as in real life, determines his own fate based on how hard he works and his ability to understand and to learn.
So then why do grades matter? If you were to ask me, I would say that there are two fundamental reasons for grades. The first is to see how much a student learned in class. The second is to see what he or she still needs to work on. So, a score of 10 or “excellent” (in Argentina we use a numerical grading system on a scale of 0-10) shows that, at least in that subject, the student learned everything he needed to learn. If the student received a score of seven (good), he didn’t do a bad job, but he still needs to put in some work to get a top grade. If his score was one – well, that result speaks for itself (six is the minimum passing grade).