Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Little Joy

I know this is College Misery, but today, just briefly, I want to share a moment of College Joy.

I teach at a small CC, and many of my students are unprepared or underprepared for college. I knew this when I applied for this position, and most of the time, I'm ok with it. It is my job to help prepare them, both through the content I teach and the expectations I place on them to be responsible for themselves and their work. Sometimes, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle, but this week has provided me with hope again.

I had an entire class - I mean every. single. student. in this class - follow directions, submit their work on time, and actually produce work that not only demonstrated effort, but also that they are, indeed, meeting learning objectives.

I know that's how it should be, ideally, but this almost never happens. Every single one of them!


  1. Can I chip in some college joy too? A few weeks ago, we had 100% attendance. All 32 students were there.

    This NEVER happens. We start with 70-80% attendance and then it goes down to 30-50% by the end of the semester.

    (Ok I know why the 100%, and there was a heavy price to pay, but still. It was good to see all those bums on seats!)

  2. At the beginning of the semester I had a student who had such poor algebra skills that it was getting in the way of her ability to do calculus. She's come to office hours just about every day and she asked the most pedantic questions ever. She's come a long way but still lacks the confidence in her own abilities. A few days ago I caught her correctly explaining a HW problem to a classmate! We high fived.

  3. This morning's seminar group had ALL done the reading, and they actually related this topic to last week's topic in a mature and appropriate way. It's been a long semester... but maybe some of them are getting it?

  4. Everyone together now!



  5. Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

    I know this feeling! It's wonderful!

    Those of you who don't teach underprepared students at a CC have no idea how much this stokes those of us who do.

    I had a section of writing students early in the semester show up with typed drafts when they were due--every last one of them prepared. I nearly cried.

    Mestopholita, I am very happy for you. Thanks for sharing this little bit of joy, especially since it's fairly late in the semester for most of us.

  6. I've peeked into some pretty dark corners of the Internet but this thread contains some of the most inappropriate material I've ever read. It's disgusting. Have you people no shame?

  7. Smile!!!!! I've had a hellish two weeks for reasons not entirely related to my job (but not helped by it either). I really needed to smile today, so thank you for giving me that.

  8. Hallelujah, indeed! The last batch of papers I graded was pretty good, too, and the few students who fell so far short of the standard as to get failing grades were actually grateful for the chance to bring their grades up to passing level (no higher, since I didn't give the whole class a chance to revise). Maybe there is a glimmer of dawn in the dark night of despair?


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