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.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Can I Have My Grade?

I love the way a student thinks and his or her mind works. This past Tuesday I had six students deliver speeches in one of my classes. Due to work I had from a couple of my other classes, I knew I was not going to have the speeches from this class graded and I honestly meant to make an announcement. I simply forget.

Fast forward to Thursday. The students were asking me as soon as I walked in if I had the speeches graded. I told them quite honestly that I did not and I WOULD have them back on Tuesday. To my mind, this is not unreasonable. I am taking a week to grade and critique the speeches, to type up my comments.

The students told me I should have come to class with the speeches graded.

“I hope,” I countered, “That you would put more than two days into preparing a speech. As a result, I certainly think it is understandable that I want more than two days to grade the speech”.

A number of the students responded by telling me they did not put more than two days into the speech. They claimed they wanted the material to be fresh in their minds (I think laziness is more like it).

While I was teasing a little, I really feel that most of the students do not get it. I also tell them at the beginning of the semester that I try to get things back to them the next class session, but I reserve the right to talk up to a week (some classes I even tell a week and a half). I know this can be frustrating but it is not due to laziness, it is due to the fact that I want to give the student a helpful critique and when I have a number of classes working on speeches at the same time, I know I need a little extra time to grade.

Some of the students appreciate this. Some of the students were just having some fun teasing me and some of the students honestly just do not get it.