Monday, February 18, 2008

I don't know how everyone's attendance was in their classes on wednesday, but mine was positively atrocious. To top it all off, my MWF classes (Monday was cancelled) was bookended by a three day weekend on both sides. Now, I was expecting my attendance to be low on Friday. I've come to expect that Fridays before three-day weekends (and especially Spring Break) will have low attendance. But, with the mini-ice storm we had, Presidents Day and the ice storm completely ruined a whole week of classes for me.
I passed back the memoirs on Wednesday. Only half of them left my hands. We went over the common grammar areas which need improvement (some of you have seen the sheet I passed out), but only half of the class saw the sheet! I answered questions about the textual analysis, led students on an analysis of an essay and showed a film which was used for analysis purposes all on Wednesday and Friday, and only half of my students were in class on those days. What am I supposed to do? Reteach that stuff???
My 100 students presented a similar problem. On Friday, only six students showed up to class. That's not a typo; there were actually only six students in my class when I walked in. Now, this was not an all-time low for me. Some of you may recall late in the Fall semester when only three students showed up to my class (two of which had not done the required reading or the rough draft of the research paper, one student had not attended my class for two weeks and only one was totally prepared for class.).
I wouldn't have been so angry on that day, but I put time and effort in to thinking up lesson plans, hand-outs and teaching strategies on those days.
And then....AND THEN, students started emailing me after my classes about what they missed with attachments of their drafts! It dawned on me later that I should have had a quiz on those days, but ENG 100 has really tied my hands since I can't assign grammar quizzes, reading quizzes, extra credit, homework assignments, enforce the attendance policy or use participation as a grading tool. Everything in ENG 100 is based on the honor system and the portfolio. For those of you who have not yet taught ENG 100, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It's hard to describe.

1 comment:

smm933 said...

As we used to say in the Air Force: improvise, adapt, overcome. But feel free to rant at any time - that's what we're here for.