I have a problem-slash-question for y'all. I'm just a lowly TA. Evaluations mean a great deal towards my progress, my funding, etc, as you can imagine. My Writing About Basketweaving 101 class is almost all non-majors - ours is a popular course for science kids who are trying to get a lit credit and/or a writing-intensive credit. I do my best to help my students, but some of them just don't get it. Sometimes from lack of trying, but not necessarily. I get this huge wave of guilt, inadequacy, and fear that it'll reflect badly on me when this happens.
Take one student, for example. I keep meeting with her, I keep responding to her emails, and with every angle I try, she gives me something that's not much better than the last one. It's obvious she's trying and wants to do well in the course, but I just don't know what else to do for her. She's one of 35 students, and when I've got 34 other students, plus my own work to deal with, she becomes a major timesuck.
When is enough enough? How can I accept the fact that some students just won't do well in my class, even if they seem to be putting in the effort? How can I accept the fact that some students just aren't Writers About Basketweaving - and how do I stop myself from feeling guilty about not being able to reach them? (or should I be feeling guilty?) What do I do with these kids now?