I am a very direct person. I don't like to tiptoe around things that need to be said. So today when I gave back the drafts, after emailing all the students with a copy of the comments I made about each draft, lots of students didn't show up.
As far as I'm concerned, I'd want to know from a teacher what she thought of my work, so I could revise it or develop it to realize what I had envisioned in the first place. But these students are so used to receiving instant A for breathing that they are traumatized. It is too bad, because actually, as I read the drafts, there were many papers with lots of great potential.
I felt rather like a gardener facing an empty plot of rich soil, there for me to develop and sow with seed. I told them all this, and that they should not take it personally, but I know that is going to be hard for some of them, especially the ones I felt blew off the assignment. I was rather hard on them, the ones who gave me one page that didn't address the prompt, after all this time discussing and working toward the draft.