Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not quite an F...but certainly not an A

Test #2 (the last one before the final): not so hot. They didn't do that well. Yeah, it was a "heftier" test than the first one, and we didn't finish the review game, but still. It's nothing that difficult. Or least I don't think so.

And boy, some of the answers they give me...some are so wrong it's comical, and others are correct possibilites I haven't even thought of. The spectrum is so huge, it blows my mind.

I've decided to become the Extra Credit fairy. So fair I've assigned one large extra credit assignment, and I made a small one that we'll do in class tomorrow. And I'll probably do another project which will be a grade-booster, but it won't be optional. :)

And we are going to review the heck out of these last few chapters before the final!

Other than that, teaching is good. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Wow, was I wrong about my last post.

I'm pretty sure that thing have improved with the girl who I had the issue with, let's call her Jane. She wrote on a homework assignment a week or so ago that she was seeking help from the university's mental health services. I realized right away that the previous comment was not personal and this could be why. I wrote on her HW that I was glad she told me, but we probably should find a better way of communication for things like this.

I gave a test on Thursday (which they all did horribly on... more on that later). She stayed after the test (and patiently waited until everyone was finished) and approached me. She was shaking and turning red, and said she was scared to approach me, and that I was the last professor she talked to. That made me feel AWFUL, and we continued to sit down and have a long conversation about what's been going on. I'm pretty sure we've cleared the air between us, which is such a relief. She told me her mental state is showing in her work, and that is why she has been doing so poorly. She feels as if she's failing (she's not, in fact, there are still students who have lower overall scores than her). I tried to reassure her and we'd work something out in the form of extra credit or re-takes. I told her that French shouldn't stress her out and that not to get worried about it.

I mean, I never worried about French as a student. Until now... but as the professors like to tell us, "That's grad school."

Anyway, so problem is 75% solved. The remaining 25% shouldn't be too difficult - I need to try and find a fair way to boost her grade.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to deal.

I feel like the student that I had an issue with a few weeks ago is purposely not-trying in class, and she's doing very poorly on quizzes. I think she's doing it because she thinks it will bother me. I want her to do well and I KNOW she can do well, she definitely has the ability, but it doesn't bother me. I know the answers, and it doesn't affect my job really, so she's only hurting herself. How am I supposed to talk to her, or do I even try to? I feel like she'll be immediately defensive and accuse me of accusing her of not trying, calling her stupid, etc. I think maybe I'll ask the question in class.

Most of my students are doing well, but I think I'm going to offer an extra-credit assignment and count it as a quiz? (or homework or heure-en-solo or what!?!). I'm not sure if I want to assign it in French or in English. They do not know how to say a lot in French, so they'd resort to using translators or trying to using vocab/grammar that is WAY above their level. If I do it in English...well.. it's a French class. So I'm not sure what to do.

We have a test next week, a much "heftier" one than the first. I really hope they do well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Rude!

I had my first rude student encounter. Not wanting to really get into it on a blog - but she took various elements of communication the wrong way (apparently to this generation, using punctuation in e-mails makes you a b****) and because I marked her answer wrong on a test (even though the answer was incorrect), I'm the worst TA ever.

I was pretty flustered after class yesterday because of this - but after venting and thinking about it, I know that she is in the wrong. I did a CYA e-mail to my TA supervisor, and I'm sure nothing will come of it.

I think I have a good relationship with my students. They respect me (well, most) without me having to have that "I'm the teacher, I'm always right, do what I say or FAIL" thing going on. They know I'm barely older than they are, they know I'm a grad student. But when I stand in front of the class, they listen, when I ask them to turn to a page, do an exercise, or assign something - they do it. I find that not only do they smile/laugh in each class, but I do too. I like it that way.