Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Time Spent Critiquing

I was reviewing some comments on the blog and I found an interesting thought. When I grade speeches, I include a full critique. I discuss what was done well, what need improvement and I talk about both the delivery and the content of the speech.

I have cut down on what I include but I can take up to 30 minutes (15-20 is more realistic) writing comments. This is a throw back to when I was in school. I did not like teachers who simply put a grade on a paper. I wanted to know what the teacher liked and what s/he felt could be stronger. I guess many of us teach using the style we felt was most effective for us when we were students.

A comment on the blog suggested that it would not only be easier, but perhaps the students would prefer it if I just put a grade on a speech. As tempting as that is, I do not think I could do that. In addition, if I critique a speech, I feel that if (and when) challenged about a grade, all I have to do is tell them to look over the comments. Of course, they still complain in groups, but would not talk to me one-on-one about a grade.

Still, I have to admit, that I finished this past week with 19 critiques to type. I have never been that far behind, but the day job has just been that crazy. My MWF class had six people speak on both Monday and Wednesday, my Tuesday-Thursday class had five people speak on Tuesday and my High School Class had two people make up the missed Informative Speech.

While I may cut down even further on what I tell them in a critique, I still feel the need to critique however. My goal is to have everyone finish the semester as a better speaker than when they started. If I do not provide the necessary feedback, that will not happen.