What a week it was and actually we have a few hours left, which I am going to spend blogging about, among other things, the fact that I need to tighten up on my time-management skills. I only finished reading the article Thinking Like a Learner within the last hour and realized, much to my consternation, that somehow I missed the part about the class that indicates that the class week ends at noon on Sundays. I’m blogging on, nonetheless.
While reading the same article, I realized that I have been something of a hypocrite. I will explain. The first year that I taught, one of the most challenging issues for me was dealing with some students’ and parents’ preoccupation with achieving perfect grades. I tried to intimate to the concerned parties that learning in a relaxed atmosphere and state of mind is much preferable to creating stress and a high degree of panic over a less than perfect grade, which for some of these folks included a B. Seriously, a few students dropped my class after receiving a B. Competition for scholarship money is the underlying culprit most of the time. So, after talking with a few parents, I grew to understand that they wanted their child to have an A regardless of the cost to the child in terms of anxiety, sick stomach or excess work. Piling on more work was one of the ways that I managed this situation. (If anyone has a better suggestion, please share that with me.) I couldn’t justify giving too much extra credit because I wanted the students to try to learn the material as we went through it and not try to make up for lower grades at the end of the grading period.
Enter the hypocrite now. As I was reading Thinking Like a Learner and came across the part about the week ending at noon, I grew tense. Panic set in and I started thinking about ways to cut corners with my classes next week so that I could get more reading done for EDUC 685. Then I thought about the philosophy of learning that I had tried to pass on to my students. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about scholarships; I have to worry about making loan payments for the next fifty years!