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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Say Too Much

We live in a society where we are all too quick to criticize things we do and point out their inadequacies. Sometimes this can really serve to do a disservice to the critical individual. For instance, a recent event proved to me that sometimes students can really say TOO MUCH!
A student recently completed a speech and I thought he did a nice job. Upon finishing the speech, it was obvious the student was disappointed and felt he did a poor job. But, the student did not simply let the body language send that message, he verbally expressed that thought as well. Upon completing the assignment, the student told me, in front of the rest of the class, that he was disappointed with that performance. He went on to point out all the things he felt he did wrong. Said student sent me an e-mail a few days later asking a question on a different topic and again apologized for delivering such a poor speech.

Initially, I thought the speech was within the A-/B+ range but the student’s comments have made me question my thinking. Beyond that, I have a dilemma. If I give the student such a high grade when he feels it was a poor speech, while the student maybe pleased, it will have him questioning by entire ability to grade speeches and to assess them.

Folks, if you are working on a school assignment, you don’t have to go out of your way to praise the job if you feel that it was not worthy of a good grade (or even if you feel it was). On the other hand, don’t be overly critical of the assignment either. At the very least it gives the teacher permission to feel comfortable, even good, about giving you a low(er) grade. At the worst, it can truly convince the teacher to give you a lower grade than s/he had initially planned.