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The Research Paper Rubric Made Me Quit My Job

February 10th, 2010

The Research Paper Rubric Made Me Quit My Job

When I became an English professor five years ago I really felt like I had arrived. I loved the position. It was a career and not just a job I went to everyday. I felt wanted, appreciated and needed there. I really liked the staff at the university. We worked very well together and I was happy to have a job where every single day I woke up and was thrilled to go to. I loved the students the most. I really saw myself in them. Sometimes I wished I could be back where they were again. Then I remembered eating noodles for dinner everyday and I’d think again. During my sixth year of teaching there was a huge scandal at the university. The president was found sleeping with a student which was obviously frowned upon. He instantly resigned and there was a shifting of power. Immediately changes in all of the departments ensued. In my department things went completely south. Our classes were no longer ours. We had to follow many different rules and regulations including a university approved research paper rubric.

Slowly but surely I no longer loved my work. It was indeed difficult to get up everyday and go to a job that I now totally and completely hated. Even my curriculum was subject to review by the new president. The term paper rubric was his idea of making sure the students really worked for their scores. They also wanted to keep all the grades and criteria uniform. The president wanted each student to know why one student received an A and the other student did not was because the A term paper did match the criteria of the research paper rubric.

I always wanted my students to express themselves on their own. A good term paper consisted of an introduction with a thesis, a few supporting paragraphs with good APA citations and a very strong conclusion. But the research paper rubric had a more specific criteria, not only did I have to rate the sources used but also the level of sources. Not only was I rating the content of the sentence but the sentence structure.

I just felt that the research paper rubric was a bit too picky. I obviously could read the term paper and gauge if the paper was good or not. But with this new criteria if the term paper didn’t fit into the rubric as an A paper then I was no longer allowed to give the student what I thought they deserved.

I stayed at the University for less than a year after the new president took his position. I just couldn’t handle it any longer. I wanted a job that I loved and wanted to go to everyday. Since I no longer felt happy in this position I found a new job at university where they had never even heard of a research paper rubric.

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