Monday, July 27, 2009

Difficult Class

Today the class gets its first paper back. That is never a pleasant day because these students are often so clueless that they don't realize that even though they have not done much of the work and haven't done that well on what they have done, they are going to get failing grades. That's not all of them of course, but way too many, and unnecessarily in many cases in this class. They just don't take a hint. But today they get grade reports, in addition to their first papers. It is often a big shock. I don't give papers back until the end of the class, or the grade reports either, and I have a rule that I don't discuss grades with anyone for 24 hours after they get them. That takes care of most irate students.
In addition to grades, this class does not discuss things well. Probably they are not prepared to. With a couple of exceptions, it is clear they are not watching the film again. It isn't really possible to discuss it without watching it again. I show bits and pieces, of course, but that isn't sufficient to do the writing and discussion. I am hoping that they get the point and do the work, those who still have some hope of passing.


Robin said...

I like your policy of not discussing grades for 24 hours. When I did that, it was very helpful because as you said, it allows students to read and digest your comments, and come back with more focused, reasoned comments.

As for the class itself, hang in there. I had a lot of classes that started out badly, but worked out just fine, particularly summer classes. The students often are bright and much more focused--otherwise why put themselves through the summer grind? And if some are not ready for the course and do fail, they can't say they haven't been warned. Your grade report, another good idea--should help make this clear.

Robbi said...

Thanks Robin. Over the years, that policy has served me well. And the grade reports are only fair to the students.