Ah! That magical time of the year. The air is crisp, and people spend their time hoping and praying. Some people are dreaming of a better tomorrow, and some try to coast through with as little effort as possible. The season can be stressful, but promises better things to come.
That time is finals week.
In spite of fervently hoping for the grading fairy to arrive, it didn’t. I was relatively pleased with how my student’s performed on their final exams, with a few notable exceptions. In a break with my usual grading habits, I switched from listening to aggressive music to watching the Friday the 13th series of movies. One thing common to both grading tests and cheesy horror flicks: stupidity gets punished. I’m nicer than the Voorhees family, though. I just mark your questions down. Although I now have the urge to go camping.
Callous remarks aside, I want all of my students to succeed. One of my steadfast rules is to give people the grade that they have earned. Sometimes the greatest service I can do for a student is to fail them. As much as I know many of them would love to have a teacher who always gives passing grades, they won’t learn from that sort of teacher. Your students have chosen you to teach them skills, and evaluate how well they perform them. So: yes I judge you, but only because you asked me to judge you.
I lose sleep not over the number of students who fail, but what I could have done to help them learn more.
There are also the students who feel that they should be rewarded for effort and for showing up. Those are the ones that I don’t lose sleep over. We judge ourselves on our intentions, and others on their actions. Since my telepathy is broken, I have to rely on the work that a person does. Or in other words: I won’t praise mediocrity. Earn your own self-esteem.
I occasionally need to remind myself that while I can fix ignorance, I can’t fix stupidity.
Now, I can take a little break. Which way to Crystal Lake?