Done!

Another semester is in the books. I taught my last class of the term this afternoon then went home and submitted final grades to the registrar.

All in all, it went exceedingly well. Of my 13 composition students, only 2 failed. Neither of them failed because of any lack of comprehension or skill, really; they failed because they didn’t adequately demonstrate that they had the comprehension and skill and, as all teachers know, knowing something isn’t enough; you’ve gotta show us you know it. These students didn’t do that; they were content to rack up zeros all through the semester and that torpedoed their final grades. I took them both aside and told them as much, and they both copped to having been lazy this term. Hopefully, they’ve learned a lesson they’ll not have to repeat.

My lit. students didn’t fare quite so well. Nearly half of those students failed; three out of eight. I had two A grades, one C-, two Ds (and one of them was a gift) and four Fs. Of the three, two of them just never came to class and one of them never turned in any work – including the mid-term exam. That girl was a favorite of mine in class, however; she is an energetic thinker who contributed some of the most exciting comments to our discussions. I took her aside and told her how much it killed me to have to record her failing grade. She’s better than this, I told her, and I KNOW that – and she does, too. She admitted to having a lot of distractions in her life this term and I suggested that she try with me again in January. We went to the registrar’s office and signed her up for next term’s lit. class and I’m really hoping she’ll keep up.

It really was a great semester. With one or two exceptions, all of my students were cooperative and enthusiastic, they worked to their potential, and most of them showed some appreciable improvement. Really, what else can I ask for?

I’m done for about three weeks. I intend to take some of that time for housekeeping and holiday preparation, I’ve already set aside some for connecting with friends, and I’m hoping to sneak in a couple of “do nothing” days for myself. I’ll certainly do some planning for next term, too; I want to review some new material for my lit class (I’ll have at least the one returning student) and I’m teaching a hybrid composition course that I’d like to have mostly mapped out before I get to the first class. I’m never confident about teaching hybrids – the online portion of it always makes me uncomfortable – so I’ll take any advice or suggestions any of you have to give.

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4 Comments

Filed under self-analysis, success!, Teaching, the good ones, Yikes!

4 responses to “Done!

  1. congrats on being done! :)

  2. I turned in my grades today, too! Yay! Only, I am not free until tuesday afternoon due to a hiring committee on which I serve. Yuck.

    As for the hybrid, I am not sure what portion or things you try to do with the online. I have tried a myriad of things that may work with your material, or not. One was a discussion board. I would give them a topic or series of questions. They would then have to venture their opinion, research, etc. Maybe for a writing course, they could post composition and have other students give them (kind) feedback? My students have also told me they like the weekly quizzes I gave in one class. They said it helped them stay on track even though they weren’t in class.

  3. I’m glad those two students admitted their laziness. Not one of mine would do so!

  4. drtombibey

    Mrschili,
    I am not a teacher, but a doc (I guess we do some teaching too) but I enjoyed your site.
    I want you to tell your students this story when you go back in Jan.

    Advice From an Old Doc

    When I was in high school, my main interests were girls, guitars, pizzas, and golf. In my Junior year, I ran into a young, tough, chemistry teacher who saw a little something in me, and inspired me to study.
    When I got to college, chemistry was easy, and it was because of him. I saw smarter kids go by the wayside only because they didn’t have the same preparation, and there was not enough time to catch up.
    I have had a wonderful life as a Doc, and I never would have had it without Mr. Hamrick. He is now retired, but is a cherished friend to this day.
    I would advise your students to hang on your every word, and any time a human being offers to teach them something to grab hold of that opportunity. This is a tough old world, and you never know when the information might come in handy to negotiate your way through it.
    So students, I think your teacher, Mrs. Chili, like my Mr. Hamrick, has the gift. I would pay attention.

    -Dr. B

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