Grades close tomorrow for the first trimester. As I hustle to get things in, and as kids start doing their best buzzard impressions, circling my laptop asking for grades and, in some cases, begging for scraps of extra points – I noticed something odd. My class averages are higher than normal. Significantly higher. In fact, upon further investigation, my class averages have been steadily increasing for the past few years – which happens to correlate with my shift in philosophy, thanks in large part to the individuals I have surrounded myself with on twitter and my graduate program at Uconn. This realization has caused significant stress. I have to wonder, are the increases in class averages due to my new way of doing things? In other words, is the fact that I have moved entirely away from traditional tests and quizzes and towards (what I hope are) more authentic assessments and activities the cause of the increase? Are the kids doing better as a whole because they are more engaged? Or is it something else? Am I getting soft in my old age? Am I subconsciously inflating grades in order to justify my actions? These are some very difficult questions to wrestle with. Help?