Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Worst Time of Year

My year typically has 2 low points, near the end of both semesters.

1. Students are burnt out. They have projects due in multiple classes, student activities reach their peak (performances, competitions, etc.), and attendance falls off accordingly.

2. Students are frustrated. Opportunities to improve grades are becoming slim. Suddenly, that third exam a student does badly on appears to have ruined their GPA forever (as if the first two exams and the missed homework assignments didn't play any part). They come to my office. They cry. They argue. They beg. They complain. They leave unhappy.

3. Students pass judgment. This is also the time of year of student evaluations, where they get to express their frustrations anonymously to my superiors. You can see their eyes light up when they find out it's time to write their thoughts.

4. Students are unforgiving. I'm human and I make mistakes. I don't mind correcting those mistakes and apologizing for them. (Sometimes my mistake is the result of a mistake by someone who wrote a test bank question that had 2 right answers). But mistakes are unforgivable as they compound a student's frustration.

This is the time of year when you find out who your friends are. You find out that the student who pretended to care all semester secretly hates you and once they realize they can't get the grade that they feel they "deserve," they let everyone know it.

The nice thing is that in a few months you'll have a ton of new students who have never had you for class and don't yet hate you. Also, some of the ones who hated you will have graduated and moved on. And then a few months after that the ratio of hate/not hate will grow larger again...

1 comment:

Charity said...

I hear you....