The Trap of Experience / by Krista Boivie

With Experience Comes… 

Knowledge,

Wisdom,

Competency

And in my case….frustration. 

This week I am in Salt Lake City grading AP World History essays. I am not at liberty to discuss the questions or the details of the essays but there is one clear idea that this task has taught me—trust the process.

This is my fourth year as a grader and I guess I am considered an experienced grader; however, this experience does not make the task any easier. Each year there are changes to the rubrics and the nature of the grading that are often completely different from the year before. I have found it difficult not using my past experience while I grade. When I do use it all it does it make the task of incorporating new learning more difficult.

Today I kept thinking “but last year it wasn’t that way.” Of course this type of thinking will get me nowhere. Tomorrow I will need to clear my mind of any preconceived notions and really tackle the process from a clear fresh perspective.

In dealing with all sorts of different tasks it is easy to get stuck in the trap of experience—and fall back on what we know—but this denies us the truly great opportunity of the growth that can occur with fresh eyes and an open mind.