In the mainstream British education system, we grow up with a grading system to aspire to, and then we receive positive validation according to our performance. Well done, you get an A! You got a C? Great, you've passed!
Whilst this system obviously has its flaws, the concept of assessment criteria and grading categories can give us useful guidelines to work from. As children and teenagers we rely on this structure, especially if we are the personality types who constantly question our abilities and wonder if we're good enough. (Hello, fellow perfectionists!)
Creating your own marking criteria can be a playful and creative opportunity to give yourself a break. Think about your own values and what you view as good or successful, not what anyone else might measure by. By creating a scale with both extremes, it's easier to be kind to yourself about your progress.
This has been especially useful to me during lockdown, as the normal rulebook has gone out of the window. 'Unprecedented' means that there is no how-to leaflet or previous examples to look at for inspiration. Some days I've been beating myself up about lack of productivity, and some days I'm congratulating myself just for staying sane.
I had some fun last month creating a Lockdown Assessment Criteria:
(note my secondary school teacher training coming in handy here!!)
The idea is that you circle your position for each row, and then take an average of what 'grade' you're getting. The process of making it helped me to realise that I rarely stray into the E's and F's, and so when I'm hard on myself for not being perfect, it gives me some perspective that I could actually be doing much worse. Getting a B is not a failure, and I mustn't beat myself up about not being an A* student all of the time.
I encourage you to play around with making your own lockdown assessment criteria: think of the worst and best way that you could being handling this unusual situation, and then create a sliding scale in the middle.
I'd love to hear how you found it, so let me know over on Instagram comments,