24 October 2006

Begging time again

It's that time of year again, when my students wake up after several weeks and realize these grade reports I've been sending them actually relate to them and their academic futures. I had one class end a few days ago and four more end this week. (Thank God!)

In the class that has ended, I was very speedy and efficient, grading all their finals and returning the final grades Monday. I've already had one student write back saying she didn't understand why she'd gotten a D on her final. Never mind that I'd sent along a detailed grading rubric when I sent her grades. I was kind enough (I thought) to write back with a more detailed summation, but she still doesn't get it. It's OK though, she wrote back and said she'd prayed about it and that "God will take care of it." I'm not sure if there was a threat in there or not ;-) As I see it, God gave her a brain, and she should use it. So far, I've seen no signs of divine intervention changing her grade.

Other students are a bit more conventional - I've gotten the begging pleas for extra assignments, requests for me to grade their finals "before I grade them" so they can fix them and get a 100% the "real" time I grade them, etc. Others simply mystify me, asking what their grade it in the class, even though they get an Excel spreadsheet every flipping week with all their possible and earned points laid bare for them. Apparently, if I don't write a big red D- on the bottom of the page, they can't tell they have a 61%. Is the art of long division dead? Whither the calculators? (This, from me, a non-math person!)

Many of my students are really good people and are truly trying their hardest - those people tend to get better grades, quell suprise. Even those whose marks aren't stellar still seem to realize they must take ownership of their work and performance in the class. Why can't they all be like this?

No comments: