09 April 2010

It's gonna be a beautiful weekend

And I'm going to have to spend it with the 80 bajillion bib cards and note cards that I have to grade. THIS is the only thing I haaatttteeee about teaching English.

I did things a little differently this semester than I have in the past. I bumped all of their due dates up a week so that we'd have more time on the front end of the process to drill and practice and drill and practice. I know, believe me I know, that drill and practice IS NO FUN, but I haven't figured out a better way of teaching a process. Think of it like a math class...the teacher introduces a new concept. How does he or she make sure that the students "get" the process? By drill and practice. And teaching research is teaching a process.

Anyway, instead of cramming the bib cards and note cards drill and practice into just a week, we've spent three weeks working on them. Of those 15 days, FIVE of them were spent in the library so that they could get their research done. There were also a couple of class days that I allowed them to go to the library and check out a book for the period so they could work in the room.

So, today, Brittany comes to me with her sob story. "Well, see, my brother was sick and I had to take care of him." At that point, I pulled out my "violin" and began "playing" her a sad song as I explained that I felt so pity for her because she has had five days of library time and three weeks outside of class to get this done. See, Brittany, sweet Brittany, has done as close to NOTHING on those five days of library time as a person could do. I would walk by her table and ask if she had any questions or if she needed any help. I would ask how everything was going. Always, no questions. No help needed. Everything is going just fine. But today, when she had five bib cards and twenty notes cards due, she didn't have them all done. She did turn in some, which is better than none though.

Now, don't think I'm horrible and that I don't care about my students. I DO, but come on! To have had almost 7.5 hours to work on them at school and then offer a sob story? IF she (and anyone else who didn't have them all) had used her time wisely, she could have done one bib card and four note cards a day, and she'd have had them. THIS is what frustrates me BEYOND BELIEF.

These are kids who in 35 days will be going out into the world to become our leaders. They are going to be making decisions that affect you and me when we're old. Honestly, I don't want Brittany making decisions for me.

Granted, Brittany is only one of 78 students, and the majority of the others have the majority of their cards. Several said they were one or two cards short. That won't kill them. Each note card is worth two points, so even if they miss those two or four points, they'll still have a good grade overall. And they didn't make excuses. They said they didn't get them done.

Now, Brittany's brother MAY have been sick and she MAY have had to take care of them. But that still doesn't excuse the fact that she wasted practically every last minute of library time. ARGH!

Oh well! I hope you have a GREAT weekend!

1 comment:


Just keep telling yourself...35 more days....and we will count them down together.

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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