Wednesday, October 3, 2007

the agony of grading

Oh boy. In my last post I lamented the poor performance of some of my students. Well, for some reason, my second lab section of the week is even worse. I can't figure out why my first lab section does better on reports. They're my guinea pigs and I make mistakes with them. Then I go into my second section practiced and generally give better explanations and directions. Why are they doing worse? It's like my second section has a collective brain fart for three hours. I graded their labs last night and they were awful. So awful that I got completely stressed out by it. Trends are starting to appear and some people are consistently missing the big pictures, but the only people coming to me for help are the ones who are already doing ok.

This morning I lectured my second lab about how no one is going to hold their hand anymore and they need to see me if they have questions and need help. I laid the smackdown on the people who consistently come in late. I also had to talk to a few people about copying answers and turning in identical graphs. I hope what I said was effective. I think that in general my students respect me and can tell that I want to help them. I know that for some of these kids I'm the only shot at getting them to like biology and see how it relates to their lives. Maybe they'll even get their act together enough to pass the class.

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