Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The End

The last final has been given, and the papers are almost all graded, except for the obligatory student who "forgot" to bring his final paper to the final (10% late penalty). It's getting quiet around here again, so it's time to reflect on how the year went.
  • Some students don't belong in college, and those were pretty much the ones we had doubts about last August. Note for next year: if the admissions team questions whether or not to admit a student, deny admission. That would have saved us grief and wasted time trying to rescue those who don't yet want to be rescued.
  • Some students will pleasantly surprise you. Kids you thought were unlikeable will turn out to be your favorites. Some kids who initially look unprepared may be the most motivated kids you teach.
  • Cafeteria food will make you fat. Bring your lunch.
  • Choose teaching assistants wisely. They can develop romances with your daughter and hang around long after the year is over (and we're happy about that!)
  • Listen to advice. That means advices from colleagues, superiors, and your students. Even poor students may have valuable insights on what would motivate them and what might make you a better teacher.
  • Buy plenty of tea. Nothing is as good for a kid whose girlfriend has just ditched him as a cup of tea and a listening ear.
  • Thank the Lord for small victories, because they will add up to big ones.

I will miss graduation this year because my own daughter is graduating from college. The first night class I had here will get their associate's degrees. I am proud of them, because they had been denied admission until I could teach remedial classes for them. Most of them have remained, and they've done well.

So here's to next week full of meetings and then a summer of quiet with time for reading and writing. Y'all keep safe, and we'll be ready for August!

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