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.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Can I Get An 'A'

You’ve got to love students. I spend the entire semester telling them what they need to do to get an “A” in my class. I outline it in my syllabus and tell them what is worth what. I let them know from the beginning that it is not so easy to get an ‘A’ in my class. And, I stress things that are important to me, such as attendance and not talking while I am, or even more importantly while other students are giving presentations.

So how come, despite saying all this, it is often the biggest offenders that come up to me the last two weeks of class and want to know what they have to do to still get an ‘A’? The time to worry about that is not at the end of the semester when it is too late to do anything. The time to worry about it and focus on it is at the beginning of the semester.

Invariably, I will have students that ask if they can do things for extra credit. Truth is, I do not allow that. I have so much grading to do at the end of the semester, the last thing I want to do is start looking over extra credit work.

On top of that, I don’t want students who have poor attendance, who have been discourteous to others, who have consistently delivered speeches late, to be able to make up for all this and still get an ‘A’.

I cannot, and will not guarantee anyone an ‘A’, but if you are going to get one, you need to play by my rules. And, for that matter, if you play by my rules, you probably will end up with nothing lower than a ‘B’. It amazes me how many C’s, D’s and F’s I give because if they play by the rules, they will do better than that. Hopefully they will learn!