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Getting there


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Having announced the grades in class I am now getting a flurry of emails from people who were absent....

Yes Thursday was the most awful rainy miserable day after we all thought the rainy season was over with the sunshine earlier in the week, so the turnout was disastrous, but what has shocked me is that compared to the Tuesday group a large portion of top students just didn't bother coming, ( lower grade students have used up all their absences earlier in the course...), not least because they've already made the grade, as it were, but on Tuesday all my no final test students had at most one absence, so I asked one student who was there to come anyway to the final test, because two absences means a large chunk of work was not done.

Meanwhile I am now writing to other students with the same message, otherwise top students are going to have three absences, not something I wish to encourage. It is clear in the course description posted in the uni that presence in class accounts for some ten or twenty percent of the grade, I'll need to check when I have time to see the level of absence in top grades compared to last year. Again I made absence for the test conditional to coming on the last day.

Okay, so there we were in the most miserable rainy day, sitting down to vocab. My most fun activity personally today was being a go-between, chatting with two students who didn't know each other and encouraging them to find similarities, three or four times, and after the vocab finished I wrote up the word "assets" on the board and explained again how valuable the uni networks were in terms of career. Marketing yourself!

I also handed back the homework personally, and made a note of absent students, and while we waited for latecomers (trains were late) I decided to work on the pay vocabulary worksheet first, and everyone worked on it quietly, then had some time to compare with other students, then I read out the answers, and then quickly explained overtime terms, time and a half, and double time.

After the break, when it was clear no other students were coming, I announced the averages so far and test exemptions, explained that students should bring a vocab sheet ( I stupidly said this was not necessary on Tuesday, so I sent out a group email via yahoo today, and have a back-up plan for Tuesday = fill out a new sheet on the spot reading an article!) . For students who didn't come I didn't read the scores, so now they have been contacting me. Pains me, because it's extra work for me, I asked one student if the course content was not stimulating enough, nope, they explained, it's just a really rainy day late in term and getting up early is hard, motivation is at a low ebb,,,,,

Then we all spent some time sharing companies, one student in the second round asked me to work with them which was fun, and I was all ready to move into round three when I noticed time was up, so we all wrapped it up and went home. I had made a marking mistake on the tests, so one of the students came to point it out, and I scribbled it on my hand. Chatted a bit to two students outside the hall, said grades were related to effort, and they were doing well, off i went home...