Monday, December 11, 2006

Hope this doesn't suck

I just switched over to the Googlized version of Blogger. I really hope I don't regret it.

Anyway... on to some actual content, eh?

Today is the last day my class will meet. Yay! The reason for the early end is that the remainder of the week will be taken up with individual portfolio reviews in which the student brings all the work they did over the semester, and we look to see if they've made actual progress. For some students, this will take maybe 5-10 minutes. For others? Half an hour.

For the best students, this is merely a confirmation that they're ready to move on to the college level courses - a brief review to remind them what they've accomplished during the term. For the students who will not be passing, it's a chance to see exactly what they need to improve in order to pass the next time.

For the students on the borderline, it's most important. Sometimes I'm not sure until the portfolio review if a particular student should pass the class. Generally, even if the student isn't quite performing to standard, if they've shown great improvement, thereby indicating an ability to learn from instruction, I'm likely to pass them.

It's the students who are clearly performing below standards, who haven't shown improvement, but who do not understand this, are the hardest to deal with in the reviews. They don't understand why they're not passing - and I can't understand whether it's because of the same dimness that renders their work substandard or whether it's the result of willful denial of reality. Either way, those are the conferences I dread the most.

Except perhaps the conferences with the students who are probably capable of passing the class, but who have decided that because of their obvious and superior talents, they don't actually need to DO all the work. Little shits. They knew the requirements from Day One, but somehow decided the rules didn't apply to them. These are the abusive types, who shovel attitude at me all term, who try to go over my head to the department chair to "test out" of the class without "actually having to pass". These are the ones I hate. Personally hate. I don't want to pass them, because they don't really deserve it unless I rely on psychic grading to know what they *could* have done. But I don't want to fail them, because then I'd have them in my class next term. I may have to meditate on the solution to those students... preferably with a large glass of wine in one hand.


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