Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grades are Done! Teacher Going On Vacation.

Here I sit in a Microtel Inn at Council Bluffs, Iowa, trying to get my kids to go to sleep and celebrating (quietly, silently) that I just finished grading the last (very, very late) paper for my FDENG101 English class at BYU-Idaho. The grades are submitted and there's a big cheesecake grin on my face. The first class is over.


I was way too nice to these students this semester. Going to have to recalibrate myself starting mid-September when I get a new crop of students. I let way too many hand in assignments way too late and worried too much about their grades when it was pretty damn obvious in a few cases that they weren't all that worried about them.

The class does have a bell curve, but it's upside down. Where a regular class should have few As, many Bs and Cs and a few failures, my class has many As, a few Bs and Cs and a few failures. So I guess not entirely upside down, but not the traditional bell curve you'd expect.

Looking at their midterm grades compared to their final grades, however, is a bit more interesting. Those students who had As at midterm maintained them. Those who did not have As either maintained their lower grade or slipped, in some cases precipitously.

And I was way too nice for just about everybody.

Going to be meaner next semester. You hear that, BYU-Idaho students? MEANER! Quake in your boots at my approach. Well, not exactly that mean, but I will be more demanding, less forgiving on late assignments and other such stuff. I kinda knew going into this first semester would be hard in trying to calibrate myself as I got used to the idea of teaching online and working with students from the teacher's perspective. Whereas when I was taking online classes I was one student trying to please a teacher, I turned into one teacher trying to please all the students. That just doesn't work at all. So I will be firm, yet fair, if I may invoke a teaching cliche.

I will admit, however, it did feel good to see that final paper take the student from an F to a B with just a few keystrokes.

No comments: